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SS4S Statement In Support of HB1547 As Amended

Updated: Aug 4

Dear Chair Pearl and Members of the Committee,


Seacoast Students for Sustainability supports HB1547 with amendment #2022-0249h, an act

setting maximum contaminant levels for perfluorochemicals in the soil.


It is no secret perfluorochemicals have invaded New Hampshire ecosystems: from contaminating

groundwater and drinking water to being correlated with increased rates of cancer in Merrimack,

it is clear these pollutants are hurting our environment and hurting our citizens. We need to put

an end to its damage, and this bill is the first step to do that.


We support the amended version of this text for the following reasons:


Firstly, this bill allows the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Services to set

PFAS standards upon the completion of a soil study by the U.S. Geological Survey at the end of

this year. Instead of blindly using established PFAS water standards for our soil (as would have

been set in the original bill), this enables soil standards to be based on specific and timely data.

The impact of these standards on the environment can be appropriately measured and predicted

in correspondence with New Hampshire’s soil status.


Secondly, this bill sets a manageable deadline to ensure the application of the U.S. Geological

Survey’s research. The Commissioner can set informed standards based on this scientific

surveying.


Finally, this bill allows for remediation to make parties responsible for contamination liable to

provide safe drinking water alternatives. Those impacted will not be forced to pay out of pocket

or relocate. Instead, they can rest assured knowing that there will be some form of aid for their

community.


The collaboration between the town of Merrimack, New Hampshire legislators, and the

Department of Environmental Services highlights how all parties impacted were considered in

the crafting of this bill. It is holistic, it is evidence-based, and it can help those who have been

harmed.


Don’t let our water and soil become another news headline. For the sake of protecting our

environment and our people, Seacoast Students for Sustainability urge you to vote Ought to Pass

(OTP) on HB1547 with amendment.


Written by Loreley Godfrey, Legislation Director of SS4S

January 25, 2022

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