Letter: A vote for healthy drinking water

For the Monitor
Thursday, May 18, 2017
A vote for healthy drinking water

Today, our senators will vote on House Bill 463 with amendment 1678s. This amendment proposes the adoption of criteria for emerging contaminants in drinking water with the most conservative approach to exposure for children and other vulnerable populations. As a resident surrounded by PFC contamination from Coakley dump, I support this amendment.

We have a drinking water contamination crisis in the state of New Hampshire. Dozens of our communities have been polluted by emerging contaminants PFCs, including the towns surrounding Pease Trade Port, Coakley dump and Saint-Gobain.

We should be collectively concerned about the health impacts of PFCs in our drinking water. The C8 Science Panel provides ample peer-reviewed research regarding the health effects of PFC exposure at 50 ppt as analyzed in a population of 69,000 residents in Parkersburg, W.Va. and is exemplary justification for adopting amendment 1678s. “They concluded that there was a probable link to C8 exposure . . . high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, testicular cancer, kidney cancer and pregnancy-induced hypertension.” Our state advisory for lifetime exposure to PFCs is 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS, only two of 42 variations of PFCs.

Despite vast research, a strong lobby opposes the adoption of amendment 1678s, which would reduce our advisory below the 50 ppt exposure level studied by the C8 Science Panel.

Jim Roche, president of the BIA, states that “creating N.H.-specific standards that are arbitrarily lower than existing federal guidelines, with no clear and reasonable justification for doing so, would unreasonably increase regulatory burdens on business without a corresponding benefit.”

As a resident surrounded by the impact of PFC contamination, the benefit is undoubtedly the protection of human health. Using a methodology that incorporates considerations for mammary impacts would signify that N.H. places a high priority on the incorporation of current research and seeks a proactively protective, not reactive, advisory standard.

If you’re concerned about the drinking water crisis in New Hampshire, email our senators at SenateDemocrats@leg.state.nh.us and SenateRepublicans@leg.state.nh.us in support of amendment 1678s today. We all need to be invested in the health of our drinking water.



(The writer is a member of Greenland Safe Water Action and New Hampshire Safe Water Alliance.)