Activists delighted NH regulators are starting to forge tougher PFAS standard

CONCORD — Leading environmentalists vow to keep the pressure on as state regulators this week begin crafting enforceable drinking water standards for perfluoroalkyl or PFAS in drinking water.

Former state lawmaker Mindi Messmer has been a leader in the campaign to convince the Legislature to pass a new law (SB 309, passed in 2018), calling on the Department of Environmental Services to create standards that are “protective of prenatal and early childhood exposure.”

She co-founded the New Hampshire Safe Water Alliance.

The DES will be having a planning meeting to kick off this process on Thursday at 9 a.m. in the Legislative Office Building in Concord.

“We are so thankful that the NHDES has taken this new information and proposed lower enforceable PFAS standards for our drinking water,” Messmer said.

“NH has the highest rates of children with cancer in the nation and we must do everything we can to limit exposures to carcinogens in our drinking water and environment.”

The state of Minnesota wrapped up a study earlier this year on breast milk contaminated by PFAS. It found babies have 4.4 times the concentration of PFAS in their bodies than bottle-fed babies.

PFAS chemicals are found in some firefighting foams and consumer products like raincoats, Teflon pans and coated papers.

A Rye resident, Messmer finished third in the 11-person Democratic primary in the 1st Congressional District last year.

She’s already announced her intention to run for the Executive Council in 2020 for the seat that Kingston Republican Russell Prescott now holds.

Mindi Messmer