CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire measure that would help communities cover costs associated with new drinking water standards got bipartisan support from lawmakers.
A Senate committee voted Tuesday in favor of setting up a $50 million loan fund to help cover local compliance costs for new limits on perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, potentially toxic chemicals collectively called PFAS, New Hampshire Public Radio reported.
The new standards went into effect in October but have been tied up in court since a judge granted a temporary injunction requested by 3M Co. and several others who opposed the regulations.
The parties sued the state's Department of Environmental Resources Commissioner Robert Scott in September, alleging the agency didn't follow the appropriate process in approving the standard. The state denied wrongdoing.
Towns could use the loans to help fund compliance measures if the regulations ever take become active again. The plan is an amendment to an earlier bill.
The New Hampshire standard limits one chemical to a maximum of 12 parts per trillion and another to 15 parts per trillion, far lower than the 70 parts per trillion the Environmental Protection Agency has advised for the chemicals.
Regulators have estimated that complying with the standards could cost towns tens of millions of dollars. Most have not tested their water for PFAS chemicals yet, so the exact costs are still unknown.