Drinking Water Standards in New Hampshire

Regulation of Perfluorinated Compounds
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1718-05
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The quality of drinking water is a staple and point of pride for the residents of New Hampshire. Unfortunately, it was recently discovered that the drinking water of several towns of the state has been contaminated by Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). Although the research on the adverse health effects of these chemicals is not definitive, federal guidelines recommend a concentration level of no more than 70 parts per trillion of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in drinking water to protect the entire population against possible lifetime health effects. This report analyzes scientific studies on the potential adverse health effects of PFCs, federal guidelines, and regulations implemented by other states, in order to evaluate existing regulation of PFCs in New Hampshire. Based on this research, New Hampshire has the opportunity to address these emerging contaminants by expanding the scope of the investigation task force in charge of monitoring PFCs in drinking water sources across the state, considering additional regulations of other PFCs besides PFOA and PFOS, and establishing surface water, ambient air, and soil standards while revising current groundwater standards regularly as more scientific evidence becomes available.