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0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8f4d0000NHPR’s ongoing coverage of water contamination at the former Pease Air Force Base and in the communities surrounding the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics plant in Merrimack. We’ll keep you updated on day to day developments, and ask bigger questions, such as:What do scientists know about the health effects of perfluorochemicals like PFOA, PFOS and PFHxS?How are policy makers in New Hampshire responding to these water contaminants?How are scientists and policymakers communicating potential risks?How are other states responding to similar contaminations?

Push to Lower Standards for PFCs in Drinking Water Continues in N.H. Legislature

Ian Sane
flickr, creative commons

Lawmakers in the state senate heard testimony Tuesday on a bill that would force the state to lower the safe drinking standards for perfluorochemicals, a water contaminant.

Right now the state Department of Environmental Services uses a threshold of 70 parts per trillion when testing drinking water for PFCS, an industrial chemical used in non-stick pans and other products. That limit is based on the federal standard established by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Representative Mindi Messmer, a Democrat from Rye, says New Hampshire needs to follow states like New Jersey and Vermont which have set their own lower standards for PFCs.

“We need the bill because right now the 70 parts per trillion is clearly not protective enough for the public health. We need to protect the people especially around the Coakley Landfill area from exposure in the future and now to PFCs.”

Officials at DES have raised concerns about the proposal. They say a lower threshold could be technically and financially unfeasible.

The bill faces a vote in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee next Tuesday.

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