pfas

John K via Flickr CC

A new bill in Congress would give states $20 billion over the next 10 years to test and treat their water supplies for toxic PFAS chemicals.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is a lead sponsor of the Democratic legislation, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Delaware Sen. Tom Carper.

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.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A plan to offer loans for New Hampshire towns to cover the cost of new limits on PFAS chemicals in drinking water got bipartisan support from state lawmakers Tuesday.

The state's strict PFAS limits were supposed to take effect last fall, but are on hold under a court injunction.

The Saint-Gobain plastics factory in Merrimack says it will continue voluntarily complying – in part – with the state’s halted PFAS chemical limits.

New Hampshire’s strict standards for the toxic chemicals are on hold under a court injunction.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The Air Force says it will study whether people stationed at Pease Air Base in recent decades got cancer at unusually high rates.

Former service members have been calling for a study like this for more than a year.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR News

Candidates campaigning in the final stretch of the New Hampshire presidential primary are redoubling their focus on environmental issues that have long been priorities for local voters.

Janet Bland via Flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/22SfbXM

New Hampshire legislators this session will consider requiring bottled water brands in the state to be tested and labeled for toxic PFAS chemicals.

The industrial compounds have been linked to health problems and can persist in the environment, but aren't subject to binding federal regulations.

Last year, New Hampshire regulators found high levels of PFAS chemicals in local bottled water brands sourced from a spring in Massachusetts.

Allie Gutierrez for NHPR

New Hampshire Public Radio covered thousands of stories in 2019. Some stories offered closure, while others still await a final chapter.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The state of New Hampshire says it will not require that public water supplies be tested for toxic PFAS chemicals by the end of the year, contrary to earlier advice.

The state’s strict new PFAS standards will be suspended Dec. 31 under a court injunction, after industry and municipal groups challenged the rules earlier this fall.

Pease AFB

A major defense spending package will not include two key regulations for toxic PFAS chemicals – which have polluted water across New Hampshire.

The National Defense Authorization Act, set for final votes this week, does carry other provisions that New Hampshire's congressional delegation supported, including a plan to give 12 weeks of paid parental leave to federal employees.

The spending plan also says the military must phase out use of PFAS-based firefighting foam, which has contaminated drinking water at hundreds of sites including the former Pease Air Force Base.

Andreas Levers via Flickr CC

A judge has ruled that New Hampshire will have to stop enforcing its strict new limits on PFAS chemicals at the end of the year – but the case is far from settled.

Merrimack Superior Court judge Richard McNamara’s ruling, which was provided to NHPR, grants an injunction requested by the major chemical company and PFAS-maker 3M, as well as local stakeholders.

But it won’t take effect until Dec. 31, the judge writes, “so that either party may seek immediate review of this decision in the New Hampshire Supreme Court.”

(Read the full ruling below.)

Via Kearsarge.org

A New Hampshire school district will test all its drinking water after one faucet was found to have high levels of a toxic chemical that has raised health concerns.

Kearsarge Regional School District Superintendent Winfried Feneberg said Tuesday the district shut down all faucets at the middle school and is providing bottled water.

The moves come after one faucet at the middle school was found to have levels of the chemical known as PFOA at 153 parts per trillion, well above the state drinking water standard.

A wastewater plant in Massachusetts says it will stop processing runoff from a landfill in New Hampshire because it contains high levels of PFAS chemicals.

But officials in New Hampshire say this local controversy is just one example of a widespread problem.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire's strict new limits on PFAS chemicals have been in effect for more than a month now. Officials say the regulations are based on sound science. But the court battle against them is only just beginning.

It's spearheaded by 3M, the chemical company that helped invent PFAS. Their partners in New Hampshire include a cattle farmer, a fertilizer company and a town water utility. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Federal researchers are now recruiting for a first-of-its-kind health study on PFAS chemical exposure in drinking water at Pease International Tradeport. 

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control gave an overview of what they're calling "the Pease study" in Portsmouth last night, with at least 150 residents in attendance.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Update, 5 p.m. Monday: Saint-Gobain has agreed to pursue one of the protesters' main demands — saying it will work to set up a new community group for Merrimack residents to weigh in on hazardous waste cleanup at the factor.

In a letter to those protesters, the company says it often sets up what it calls community advisory groups with residents and government officials near its major facilities. Saint-Gobain says it'll reach out to the town of Merrimack to start the process. They say the group could be a forum to address protesters' other concerns.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A Superior Court judge heard arguments Friday against New Hampshire's strict new limits on PFAS chemicals in public water supplies.

The major chemical company 3M and a group of local stakeholders want an injunction against the recently implemented rules.

3M's attorney laid out their arguments inside Merrimack Superior Court, as protesters outside denounced the involvement of the corporation that pioneered PFAS.

NHPR Photo

Senator Jeanne Shaheen will be in Portsmouth Friday to talk about an upcoming federal health study on the effects of PFAS chemicals.

The Centers for Disease Control are piloting their first national PFAS study on people who were exposed to the compounds at Pease International Tradeport.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: October 4, 2019

Oct 4, 2019

NHPR's Casey McDermott hosts the Weekly New Hampshire News Roundup.  New Hampshire was hit with a lawsuit over its new limits on chemicals in drinking water on the same day the new regulation took effect.  In a rare reversal, the state Attorney General's office says a Claremont fatal police shooting is no longer considered legally justified.  Syringe services were long ago adopted in some parts of the country as a useful public health tool. Why, in a state hit hard by the opioid crisis, has New Hampshire been so slow to adopt them?

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The town of Merrimack is requesting the Department of Environmental Services to temporarily shut down operations at Saint-Gobain Plastics. 

State regulators have held the factory responsible for addressing widespread PFAS chemical contamination in nearby water wells.

wikimedia commons

New Hampshire was hit with a lawsuit over its new limits on PFAS chemicals in drinking water on the same day the new regulation took effect.

The suit, filed in Merrimack Superior Court, comes from the Plymouth Village Water and Sewer District, a farmer in Center Harbor and a fertilizer company in Holderness, as well as 3M, the original maker of PFAS compounds.

CEYHUN (JAY) ISIK / CREATIVE COMMONS

New state limits are now in effect for PFAS chemicals in public drinking water supplies.  The now-common industrial contaminants have been linked to health risks. 

New Hampshire's new standards are the nation’s strictest, and largely the first of their kind. 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: September 20, 2019

Sep 20, 2019

An historic number of vetoes by Governor Sununu means the legislature revisits bills on gun control, voting access laws, alternative energy and more. We get an update on continuing negotiations over the state budget.  And with a Global Climate Strike taking place Friday, we find out how New Hampshire students are participating. 

GUESTS:

Heather Hayward / U.S. Air Force

Governor Chris Sununu signed two bills Tuesday banning the use of some products that contain harmful PFAS chemicals.

The industrial compounds have been linked to a wide array of health problems.

File Photo

A trial run of the first major federal health study on PFAS chemicals is ready to begin at Pease International Tradeport.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen's office said Thursday that the project at the former air base in Portsmouth had received final approval from federal budget officials.

High levels of PFAS were found in drinking water at Pease in 2014. Research has linked the industrial chemicals to a range of diseases.

Courtesy of Flickr

 

New Hampshire is getting federal money to study the health effects of toxins near a Superfund site in Berlin and in homes and private wells statewide.

The state Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Health Laboratory announced Monday it will use over $5 million from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor residents’ blood and urine samples after potential exposure to chemicals.

Its goal: Increase the state’s understanding of toxin exposure and effective interventions.

Google Earth

The city of Lebanon is asking other communities to join in a potential lawsuit over how state lawmakers approved new limits on PFAS chemicals in drinking water.

A legislative committee put the new PFAS standards to a vote at their mid-July hearing without giving a chance for any public testimony.

It was a surprise to people on both sides of the issue who'd come expecting to speak.

N.H. DES

 

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is conducting its most extensive sampling of private wells in the state's history.

Over the next year, DES will sample 500 pre-selected wells for hundreds of contaminants with the goal of understanding overall water quality in private wells across the state.

DES will test for everything from bacteria and metals to PFAS chemicals, which have been linked to health problems.

Daniel Orth / Flickr CC HTTP://BIT.LY/1SZL4PJ

Tests by New Hampshire regulators show PFAS chemicals in bottled water brands sold across New England.

The Department of Environmental Services tested for PFAS in a random sample of bottled water sold in the state.

CDC.gov Photo

Officials will cut the ribbon Tuesday on a major water treatment plant at Pease International Tradeport.

The new system will scrub PFAS chemicals out of the large aquifer that once supplied drinking water at the former Air Force base.

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