State Seeks Citizen Input On PFAS Science Ahead Of New Water Standards

Oct 15, 2018

Credit John K via FLICKR CC

The state begins work this week on writing new limits for potentially toxic PFAS chemicals in drinking water -- and they want the public's input.

The limits, known as maximum contaminant levels or MCLs, are due out in January.

They'll be more proactive than what the state has in place right now – requiring towns and water district to test for PFAS before water gets to people’s homes.

They might also be stricter – but it’ll depend on the science and research that’s used.

The EPA and current New Hampshire law, for example, assume a higher level of PFAS is safer than does the Centers for Disease Control and states like Vermont and New Jersey.

Clark Freise, assistant commissioner of New Hampshire's Department of Environmental Services, said at a public meeting in Merrimack last week that his agency will have to weigh what's technologically feasible with what's protective of human health. 

“We’re wanting to make sure that we set an MCL that we can enforce, and that we set and MCL that will stand through any court cases that might come up from it,” Freise said. 

The state is holding three public work sessions on the new standards this week – in Litchfield Tuesday, at Pease Tradeport Thursday and in Concord Friday.

Residents are encouraged to attend and bring any studies or other resources they want the state to factor in to its plans.