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Shaheen to Highlight PFAS Contamination in N.H. With Guest at the State of the Union

Senator Shaheen

The Environmental Protection Agency will reportedly not issue hard limits on two likely toxic industrial chemicals that have contaminated parts of New Hampshire.

The report from Politico is drawing criticism from advocates and lawmakers.

The EPA is still finalizing its national management plan for PFAS chemicals, which was due at the end of last year.

The chemicals were used for decades in a range of household products and have contaminated water supplies in at least two New Hampshire communities – around Portsmouth and Merrimack.  

Advocates had hoped the EPA’s plans would include hard limits on two of the chemicals – PFOA and PFOS – in drinking water.

It would have been a default standard for the majority of states that don’t regulate those chemicals on their own. New Hampshire is one state that’s proposed its own PFAS limits

Politico’s report that the EPA is not planning to issue new federal limits on PFOA and PFOS drew swift criticism from advocates, who called it an abdication of the agency’s role in safeguarding public health.

On Tuesday, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said in a statement that the EPA should show more leadership in protecting residents in New Hampshire and nationwide from the chemicals.

Shaheen’s guest at next week’s State of the Union address will be PFAS activist Andrea Amico, who co-founded the group Testing for Pease after her family was exposed to the chemicals in Portsmouth.

The EPA says in a statement that Politico’s report is premature and that its plans are not finalized.

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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