Through PAULA TRACY, InDepthNH.org
CONCORDE – Ensuring that the drinking water New Hampshire residents get from the taps and the hands of their children is clean and safe is a critical task of government, said Governor Chris Sununu.
With the comment, Sununu on Tuesday signed three new water protection bills in a ceremony at the Executive Council offices.
Lawmakers who worked in a bipartisan fashion to pass House 235, House Bill 236 and House Bill 271, attended the event and celebrated progress towards a healthier future for all in Granite State.
– Bill 236 creates a six-year statute of limitations for civil actions relating to damage caused by perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances also known as PFAS and PFOA which have been used in factories, especially in the south from New Hampshire.
It states that “a civil action arising out of any damage or injury caused by a person or entity found legally responsible or an action for any damage resulting from exposure to PFAS may be brought within six years from the date on which the plaintiff discovers, or in the exercise of due diligence should have discovered, such injury, injury or damage and the causal relationship of an act or omission to such injury, injury or damage.
It takes effect in 60 days.
– Bill 235 deals with the impacts on other water users of new water sources for community water supply systems.
This means that private well water users are not adversely affected by a new community water source.
“This bill forces the Department of Environmental Services to adopt rules regarding small withdrawals of groundwater from new water sources,” he said.
– House Bill 271 also directs the State Department of Environmental Services to set maximum contaminant limits for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and also allows the Department of Environmental Services to provide grants and loans to eligible municipalities and drinking water and wastewater systems to combat PFAS contamination and rename them PFAS Sanitation Fund PFAS Sanitation Loan Fund.
The main sponsor of the legislation, Representative Rosemarie Rung, D-Merrimack, said: “This legislation is monumental in allowing the Department of Environmental Services to set limits on these carcinogens and provide essential funding to hundreds of people. Granite State families who are affected. daily in hazardous water conditions.
“Everyone deserves the opportunity to drink their water without fear of health consequences. I am so proud that Democrats have sponsored this crucial initiative which has the potential to save so many lives in Granite State, ”Rung said.
There is $ 50 million available to communities for remediation efforts on a cost-sharing basis.
Senate Speaker Chuck Morse R-Salem said the state has made a lot of progress in recent years on water protection measures.
He said the legislature has heard from many communities worrying about potential PFAS contamination and what these contaminants can do to the health of citizens, especially children.
The state set up a $ 50 million fund to make sure we had the money to help communities through this, he said, and the bill is “a winning formula. so that the State and the communities work together ”.
Bob Scott, commissioner for the Department of Environmental Services, said 320 towns and cities will benefit from the three bills.
He thanked the governor and a bipartisan effort in the House and Senate.
Scott said it was “one more place where the New Hampshire advantage is taking hold.”
The governor said people really trust the government when they can pour a full glass of tap water and hand it to their children.
“We’ve made a lot of investments,” and these bills just build on what the state is doing to create a healthy environment, Sununu said.