Trump Says He’d Veto Spending Bill With Two N.H.-Backed PFAS Plans, Other Provisions

Jul 11, 2019

A monitoring well at the former Coakley Landfill on the Seacoast.
Credit Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire's congressional delegation is pushing back after the Trump administration signaled it would reject some new PFAS chemical regulations in a big defense spending bill.

Trump says he'll veto the bill if it reaches his desk with a host of provisions still inside, including two, championed by New Hampshire lawmakers, that pertain to harmful PFAS chemicals.

Those provisions include more treatment requirements for PFAS water contamination from military sources, and a ban on military use of PFAS-based firefighting foam.

That's what contaminated drinking water at places like Pease International Tradeport, where Alayna Davis and her young son were exposed to PFAS.

The chemicals have been linked to serious health problems, but Davis says her family still doesn't know how it'll affect them years from now.

"If we don't stop the pollution, then we are spreading contamination to more families, and the questions will still be there for those families,” she said during a press conference Tuesday.

That press conference was called by Congressman Chris Pappas, who says he hopes the Trump administration will change its mind about the planned veto.

Pappas now wants to go even further.  He wants to amend the bill to regulate discharges of PFAS under the Clean Water Act.

"It's about time that we act with the sense of urgency that this situation demands,” Pappas says.

The Trump administration says there aren't yet viable safe alternatives to PFAS-based firefighting foam. Opponents argue such alternatives are already in use at many civilian airports.