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
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
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
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