Senate Votes to Ban PFA Added Products from the State

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Sen. Kevin Avard, R-Nashua, spoke in favor of House Bill 1649, to ban some products with PFAs from being sold in the state in Wednesday's Senate session.


CONCORD — The Senate approved a bill that would ban products coming into the state that have PFAs intentionally added to them as other states have done.

Under House Bill 1649, the ban would take effect in three years and give the state time to fine tune its regulatory systems, supporters said Thursday in the Senate session.

Several senators noted the bill has some of the most far reaching efforts to protect the state’s residents against the “forever chemicals” which have polluted groundwater and soil in many areas of the state including Merrimack, Bedford and the Seacoast.

The chemicals are in a wide range of products from food packaging, children’s products, cosmetics, carpets and upholstered furniture exposing most everyone.

When the products are disposed of in landfills they can leach into the soil and groundwater, and landfill leachate is treated at wastewater treatment plants, all posing health risks to humans. 

Almost everyone has some level of PFAs in their blood and the chemical is suspected of causing decreased fertility, developmental delays in children, increased risk of cancer, compromised immune systems, high cholesterol, and risk of obesity.

At the session, Sen. David Watters, D-Dover, called the bill an extraordinary accomplishment as the state has experienced contamination from the PFAs first hand.

“HB 1649 carves out necessary exemptions, and creates an on-ramp for this prohibition that will mitigate the impact on manufacturers while moving our consumer products away from these dangerous chemicals,” Watters said. “This is a reasonable, but deeply important bipartisan bill that will protect the future health of Granite Staters, and we are pleased to see it pass the Senate today.” 

Sen. Kevin Avard, R-Nashua, the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, called the bill a crucial step in safeguarding public health and restricting PFAs from coming into the state.

The prime sponsor of the bill, Rep. Karen Ebel, D-New London, has said, “PFAS should not be in the air we breathe, the food we eat, or the water we drink, but they are. These ‘forever chemicals’ are so pervasive in the products we use in our daily lives that virtually all of us have them in us.  Facing continuing public health challenges and the extreme financial burdens of PFAS contamination, our state must take decisive and strategic action to reduce the influx of PFAS.”

The bill passed the House by a 233-140 vote.

New Hampshire is believed to be one of the states most burdened by PFA contamination with the state and municipalities spending more than $119 million to remediate the contamination. Other New England states have banned the chemicals in ways similar to HB 1649, as have other states.

Citizens in Merrimack have suffered with contamination from a plant in that community that has polluted drinking water. The company recently announced the plant will close. Recently the company, Saint-Gobain, has refused to do additional groundwater sampling around the plant required under a consent decree with the state. State environmental officials say the company has not lived up to the requirements of the decree.

The bill will go to the Senate Finance Committee for review before a final Senate vote.

Garry Rayno may be reached at

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