Read the full article by Rosemarie Rung (Concord Monitor)

“If you’re a Granite Stater, you’ve heard about PFAS, the group of chemicals present in many consumer products and abundant in New Hampshire landfills. From sources like the Coakley Landfill, corporate polluters and others, PFAS have made their way through soil and into groundwater, which serves as drinking water for most residents in New Hampshire.

The state’s Solid Waste Management Plan now in review for public comment specifically cites the threat of PFAS in the solid waste stream. So, why then did Governor Sununu veto HB 1454, legislation that would’ve put critical parameters in place to safeguard the location of new landfills and reduce the risk of PFAS spreading through landfill leachate?

Shockingly, over 90% of the U.S. population has PFAS chemicals present in their blood. The presence of these chemicals is strongly correlated with a decrease in fertility and increased risk for a host of different cancers and other medical conditions.

In my community of Merrimack and several neighboring towns, we suffer the largest PFAS contamination of groundwater in state history. A cancer study released late last year showed that Merrimack has over twice the rate of kidney/renal cancer than expected and we suffer elevated rates of several other cancers, too. Because PFAS don’t break down, they accumulate in nature, making it imperative that we prevent PFAS from spreading wherever we can, especially through landfill leachate that can easily seep into surface water and groundwater.

At present, New Hampshire does not have an adequate rule for the siting of landfills, only requiring them to be set back a mere 200 feet from a permanent water body, regardless of the hydrogeology of the area. HB 1454 would define the setback, not on an arbitrary number of feet, but based on the rate of groundwater flow to ensure that it would be slow enough to prevent harmful contamination of nearby lakes, rivers, and water systems.” …