Here’s What Happened To The Dozen Bills Involving PFAS Pollution

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Wikimedia photo of water.


CONCORD – The New Hampshire legislature has finished its most recent session, an important one for several lawmakers who have made PFAS chemicals a hallmark of their careers. Several bills were submitted this session for greater awareness, accountability, and public health support as forever chemicals continue to be of concern for New Hampshire.

There were 12 bills in this session across the House and Senate involving PFAS pollution. Here is what happened to each of them:

HB 242: This bill bans the use of food packaging containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The bill was sent for interim study, meaning the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs committee will create a committee report in the second year session in the fall.

HB 398: This bill requires certain notice of PFAS and other groundwater contamination prior to the sale of real property. This law would amend current law by requiring property sellers to notify the buyer of PFAS contamination using the following language: “chemical compounds have been detected at levels that exceed federal and/or state advisories or standards in wells throughout New Hampshire, but are more frequently detected at elevated levels in southern New Hampshire.  Testing of the water by an accredited laboratory can measure PFAS levels and inform a buyer’s decision regarding the need to install water treatment systems.” The bill was passed by the House and Senate and is awaiting a signature from Gov. Chris Sununu.

HB 414: This bill requires insurance coverage for preventative PFAS care. It was voted down in the House and did not move forward.

HB 1089: This bill removes the statute of limitations for civil actions for damages resulting from a PFAS exposure. It was sent to interim study by the House Judiciary Committee.

HB 1114: This bill extends for 5 years the commission to investigate and analyze the environmental and public health impacts relating to releases of PFAS chemicals in the air, soil, and groundwater in Merrimack, Bedford, Londonderry, and Litchfield. It was passed by the Senate and House and is awaiting the governor’s signature.

HB 1415: This bill provides for perfluoroalkyls (PFAS) facility liability for contaminations of groundwater quality standards according to federal regulations. It would function to hold companies like Saint-Gobain liable for its contamination of six southern New Hampshire towns’ drinking water. The Senate and House passed this bill. The governor is yet to sign it into law.

HB 1613: This bill establishes a trust fund for money from soil and water environmental contamination court settlements. If signed by the governor—as it was passed by the House and Senate—it would function similarly to the opioid abatement funds, in which money from opioid settlements was put into a designated fund to be used by municipalities throughout the state for opioid abuse disorder-related initiatives. Currently, Saint-Gobain is facing a class-action suit, one that would likely be impacted by this bill if passed.

HB 1707: This bill provides that any person who owns or operates a PFAS facility where a release of PFAS has resulted in total combined concentrations of PFAS in groundwater or surface water of a specified amount shall be strictly liable for the costs of blood tests for affected individuals. This bill comes after Rep. Wendy Thomas, D-Merrimack, shared her own experience of discovering exceedingly high concentrations of PFAS chemicals in her own blood following her cancer diagnosis in 2022. It was voted down by the House.

HR 28: This House Resolution, which is more of a letter aiming to gain support for or recognition of a certain issue, urges for the compensation for injuries from PFAS and for the closure and cleaning of sites affected by PFAS. It was passed by the House and Senate but will not impact current laws.

SB 393: This bill makes an appropriation to the Department of Environmental Services of $2 million from general funds and the sum of $4.5 million from a combination of federal funds and the drinking water and groundwater trust fund established under RSA 485-F. It is to be used for regional drinking water infrastructure as part of Phase 2 of the Southern New Hampshire Regional Water Project to increase water supply to multiple towns impacted by PFAS contamination and growing water demands. It was passed by the House and Senate, now awaiting Gov. Sununu’s signature.

SB 413: This bill creates a civil action for certain PFAS contamination. It was passed by the House with an amendment, but the Senate non-concurred with the House changes, killing the bill.

HB 1649: This bill restricts the use of PFAS chemicals in certain consumer products sold in New Hampshire. It makes appropriations to the Department of Environmental Services to fund an additional position and to fund the PFAS products control program. The bill also provides that funds received by the state from PFAS litigation settlements will be deposited in the drinking water and groundwater trust fund, used to fund public water systems which have been impacted by PFAS chemicals above certain levels.

While HB1649 was passed by the House and Senate, the version sitting on Gov. Sununu’s desk is not what PFAS advocates and its original sponsors had in mind. Laurene Allen, co-founder of Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water, shared a letter with that she addressed to the legislature on May 22, explaining why the new definition of PFAS in HB1649 presents a problem.

“The current definition adopted by the Senate utilizes a definition of PFAS that is not consistent with the science-based definition of PFAS New Hampshire has already adopted and is used in 22 other states that regulate PFAS in consumer products,” Allen wrote. “The amended definition would open the door for other replacement PFAS and undermine any protections that the law provides.”

Allen is referring to GenX chemicals, or other forms of PFAS chemicals that have been used to replace the more pervasive and resistant chemicals such as PFOS and PFOA. She fears that the HB1649 definition of PFAS will allow manufacturers to replace PFAS with other similar chemicals that would not violate this law’s definition.

“The definition of PFAS in HB1649 is based on the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reporting rule definition of PFAS. This definition is inadequate for regulating consumer products,” Allen explained. “[The TSCA reporting rule] definition encompasses a limited subset of PFAS compounds,” Allen continued in her letter, and “fails to capture the full spectrum of potentially harmful chemicals within the class.”

“As a result, relying solely on the TSCA definition or any of the multiple non-scientific EPA definitions would create loopholes in regulatory oversight, allowing manufacturers to continue using alternative PFAS compounds that pose similar risks to human health and the environment,” Allen wrote.

Rep. Nancy Murphy, D-Merrimack, joined Allen in her concern over the final version of HB1649. She and her colleagues even considered not supporting the bill over the new definition of PFAS.

“Do you get a bite of the apple fully cognizant, knowing that you need more?” Murphy said. She and her colleagues decided to support the bill because it is a step forward in PFAS regulation. Murphy did say that she plans to file another bill in the fall that would change the definition back to the science-based one that Allen spoke about in her letter.

Murphy and her fellow PFAS advocates have been patiently waiting to see what will happen to PFAS legislation as the governor continues signing bills. She said they aren’t notified of when he signs the bills and must pay attention to press releases that publish on the governor’s official website.

His last update about signed bills was June 14.

Murphy is already thinking ahead to next session in the fall in her continued efforts for PFAS cleanup and accountability.

“Any bills that didn’t pass, we’ll be filing again,” Murphy said. “We’re not backing down.”

Ani Freedman is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School with a passion for environmental, health, and accountability reporting. The NH Press Association just named her Rookie of the Year. In her free time, she’s an avid runner and run coach. She can be reached at

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