CONCORD — New Hampshire lawmakers voted to put into place some of the country’s toughest drinking water standards for a class of toxic chemicals that were once used in everything from firefighting foam to nonstick cookware but are now raising health concerns.
A joint legislative committee Thursday approved three measures allowing standards for compounds known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, collectively called PFAS, to go into effect. New Hampshire now has the lowest standard for one contaminant known as PFOA and the second lowest for another known as PFOS after New Jersey.
“It’s important to protect the public health,” said Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes, D-Concord, who voted for the measures and was one of the co-authors of the bill requiring the standards. “The water that comes out of the faucet is critical to protecting children, our families and our communities. These rules do that.”
Department of Environmental Services Assistant Commissioner Clark Freise, whose agency came up with the standards, said he expects other states to follow New Hampshire’s lead in working to address the contamination — as the federal government has put off any decision setting standards.