Nov 27, 2019

Judge Halts New Hampshire PFAS Limits

A judge ruled New Hampshire must stop enforcing new drinking water standards for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) by the end of 2019.

Judge Halts New Hampshire PFAS Limits

A judge ruled New Hampshire must stop enforcing tough, new drinking water standards for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) by the end of 2019.

On Oct. 1, New Hampshire dropped its allowable limit for PFAS from 70 ppt to 18 ppt in drinking water and groundwater.

3M and several other parties filed suit and sought an injunction to halt the enforcement of the lower limits. Judge Robert McNamara granted the injunction Nov. 26, reported the Bloomberg Environment.

The parties include the town of Plymouth, a farmer and a sludge company. Attorneys Terri Pastori and Mark Rouvalis, representing 3M, allege the state did not do a proper cost-benefit analysis before proposing the new regulations this year. They also accused the state of not allowing adequate public comment before approval.

“The new rules will have a significant financial impact on the customers of our small water and sewer district” said the Plymouth Village Water & Sewer District in a statement, adding that “we cannot afford to adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude given the magnitude of the cost and the potential consequences to the District.” 

McNamara ordered that the injunction not take effect until Dec. 31 so that either party can appeal or seek review in the New Hampshire Supreme Court, according to the Bloomberg Environment.

“When the final proposed standards issued on June 28, 2019, they were far lower than the standards originally proposed to the public in January,” according to the ruling

The ruling also means public water systems will still have to submit their first round of quarterly PFAS test results to state regulators by the end of 2019, reported New Hampshire Public Radio

“The legal issues raised by Plaintiffs’ challenge are complex, the importance of public health is paramount and the expense imposed by the proposed rule is significant,” said McNamara.  

Read related content about New Hampshire’s PFAS standards: 

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