Protect our residents

On Thursday, the New Hampshire Senate approved several bills aimed at protecting the state’s drinking water from harmful chemicals.

Lawmakers unanimously voted to approved legislation that set strict standards for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl – collectively known as PFAS. The standards were put forth by the Department of Environmental Services and limit one chemical to a maximum of 12 parts per trillion and another to 15 parts per trillion, far lower than the 70 parts per trillion the federal Environmental Protection Agency have recommended.

“This is about the communities and families that have been suffering and wondering about their water,” Sen. David Watters, a Democrat from Dover, said in support of the bill.

More than 700 homes in New Hampshire whose drinking water was contaminated by PFAS have been connected to new water. The state estimates more than 100,000 other people eventually could be affected.

Studies have found potential links between high levels in the body of one form of the contaminants and a range of illnesses, including kidney cancer, increased cholesterol levels and problems in pregnancies.

Those against the bill say the levels should have alone, and that litigation should be allowed to continue to ultimately resolve the debate.

The Senate, though, made the right call. Granite Staters have suffered enough, and the health and well-being of our residents should be the primary concern. We simply can’t afford to prolong this fight. Doing so would put our resident in jeopardy.