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N.H. Senate Advances Bills To Re-establish PFAS Limits, Create Loan Fund

Andreas Levers via Flickr CC

The state Senate passed two key bills on PFAS chemical contamination Thursday.

One bill, which passed unanimously, would re-establish new state rules that set limits on PFAS in drinking water. These limits were the strictest of their kind in the country at the time.

But the rules were enjoined in Superior Court late last year, after a lawsuit by the 3M chemical company and local stakeholders.

They argued the state Department of Environmental Services didn’t do a full cost-benefit analysis during rulemaking.

This bill would get around the current court challenge by putting the same limits directly into state law, instead of going through the DES rulemaking process again.

The Senate also approved a $50 million loan fund that would help towns comply with the limits. This could help prevent an unfunded mandate challenge if the limits went back into effect.

The loan fund bill will go to the Senate Finance Committee before it moves on to the House of Representatives.

The 2019 lawsuit by towns and businesses, which blocked the original PFAS limits from taking effect, is still awaiting appeal.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

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