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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?

Two Bills Addressing Water Contamination Become Law

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Josh Rogers for NHPR
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Governor Sununu signed three bills having to do with water quality last week. 

Two new laws will address water contamination from perfluorichemicals – those so called “Teflon toxins” found on the Seacoast and in Southern New Hampshire.

One will allocate $5 million dollars from the state’s water trust to remedy contamination in Amherst. A year ago, the state found perfluorichemicals in private wells surrounding the former TCI plastics plant there.

Another new law will create a water quality study commission on the Seacoast. Representative Mindi Messmer, the bill’s sponsor, says participants include public officials, experts and a local water company.

"We’d like to plan ahead for how we’re going to protect our water supply on the seacoast to help protect it from other issues that might contaminate it."

In Merrimack, water contamination from the Saint-Gobain Plastics plant pushed public water officials to keep two wells offline early last year. Earlier this week, public schools in Merrimack tested at 17 parts per trillion of PFOA – below the EPA’s advisory level, but nearing Vermont’s more conservative regulatory limits. A bill to reduce New Hampshire's limits stalled this legislative session. 

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