RELEASE: Senate Committee Approves Amendment to Prevent Cancers and Other Diseases Caused by Drinking Water Contaminants

CONCORD – Today, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee voted to approve amendment 2017-1572s to strengthen standards for evaluating ground water pollution in New Hampshire. The language of the legislation calls for the commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services to adopt a Maximum Contaminant Limit (MCL) for perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in public water systems. PFOS and PFOA are two of the most cited contaminants at play in a well-documented series of public health crises caused by groundwater contamination across southern New Hampshire.

As former HHS Commissioner Ned Helms said (testimony attached): “By basing our PFC emission standards on a thorough review of the science and a full understanding of how that science has affected other state’s actions, and establishing New Hampshire’s standards in a way that they represent the most rigorous levels, we can then assure our citizens that we are  creating an environment that will provide the healthiest place to live our lives, raise our children, operate and attract our commercial and educational enterprises and be a leader in assuring those attributes.”

Senator Dan Feltes (D-Concord) and Senator Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth), Democratic members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement after the committee vote:

“We are pleased that the committee came together to advance the protection of public health, particularly prenatal and early childhood health. We have an obligation to protect the people of this state, and establishing a scientifically proven, safe standard for evaluating drinking water safety related to PFOS and PFOA is a proactive measure we can take to ensure that we prevent future suffering.”