Sununu OKs bill protecting N.H.’s drinking water

RYE, N.H. (AP) – Gov. Chris Sununu on Tuesday signed a bill to help protect New Hampshire’s groundwater.

The bill would require the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to review groundwater standards for two chemical contaminants and set standards for two others by Jan. 1, 2019. It also requires the department to set drinking water maximum contaminant levels for the chemicals and surface water standards.

The compounds are known as PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, and PFHxS. They have been used to make Teflon and and other non-stick products like fast-food wrappers. They have been found in high concentrations in the drinking water around military bases, factories, landfills and other sites across the country.

The bill had widespread support, including from people exposed to contaminated water at the city of Portsmouth’s now-closed Haven well. Testing showed they had high levels PFHxS. PFNA has been found at high levels in Berry’s Brook in Greenland adjacent to the Coakley landfill, a Superfund cleanup site.

“There is no greater faith in government that we place than every time we turn on the faucet and hand our kids a glass of water,” Sununu said, WMUR-TV reported . “We are really trusting that the government did their job and that water is safe to give to our kids.”

Bill supporter Dan Innis, a Republican, said the standards will be reviewed annually to ensure that the most up-to-date science and research are followed.