There's been a lot of recent activity in New Hampshire regarding PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. These chemicals are very persistent in the environment and in the human body - meaning they don't break down and they can accumulate over time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects.
Federal and state regulators have taken steps to determine the public's exposure to these chemicals and whether or not current levels of exposure are safe. USEPA recently initiated its public comment period for a proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) to establish a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) and a health-based Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) at 56 ppt. State officials recently announced historic action to protect New Hampshire's natural resources by filing two lawsuits against companies for the manufacturing and dissemination of PFAS in New Hampshire. Through these lawsuits, the state seeks to recover all costs to investigate, clean up, restore, treat, monitor, and otherwise respond to contamination of the State's groundwater, surface water and other natural resources.
Of greater concern, however, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is advancing its rulemaking initiative to establish Maximum Contaminate Levels (MCLs) and Ambient Groundwater Quality Standards (AGQS) for PFAS, PFOA, PFOS, and PFHxS to ensure greater protection of public health related to the consumption of drinking water. The agency will be filing these proposed rules before the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR) in July (see related story above).
As you can see, our evolving understanding of PFAS is driving public concern and conservative regulatory responses at the state level.
Join us on Monday, July 22nd, for a discussion on how these new standards will impact community water and wastewater systems. Our panel of experts, Attorney Robert Cheney of Shehann Phinney law firm and Environmental Consultants Keith Pratt and Mike Metcalf of Underwood Engineers, along with state agency officials, will provide us a comprehensive understanding of current PFAS regulations, remediation technology available, current status of PFAS rulemaking and implementation, and strategies for addressing liability concerns related to PFAS.
This event is open to all members of the New Hampshire Municipal Association and will benefit those municipal officials who want to better understand and ask questions regarding the potential impacts of PFAS on public water and wastewater systems.