New Hampshire Considers Tighter Drinking Water Regulations

Posted on 04/21/17

Venice Neighborhood Council

This month, New Hampshire legislators have been considering a bill that would allow state officials to set more protective health advisories on emerging drinking water contaminants than currently prescribed by the U.S. EPA.
A financial subcommittee decided to postpone acting on the bill, known as HB 485.
According to Seacoast Online, “State Rep. Mindi Messmer, D-Rye, who wrote the bill, said despite the postponement, she remains encouraged about HB 485's chances to win committee approval and ultimately be signed into law.”
The object of the bill is to urge the state "Department of Environmental Services to use exposure scenarios in children and other vulnerable populations to determine criteria for emerging contaminants in drinking water.”
Because of HB 485’s chance to lower the level of harmful contaminants in drinking water, Messmer believes it to be her "most important bill."
In February, the New Hampshire House's Resources, Recreation and Development Committee voted to support the bill drafted by Messmer.
The bill also found strong bipartisan support.
It passed the House earlier this month, “but was sent to the House Finance Subcommittee after state Department of Environmental Services officials said it could end up costing more than $30 million if passed into law.”
Seacoast Online reported that a memo shared with lawmakers “stated Messmer's bill ‘provides no consideration of cost, contaminant prevalence or likelihood of making a significant impact on public health protection.’"
"The bill as amended would place New Hampshire in the position of regulating more drinking contaminants, at more stringent standards than perhaps any other state, and would significantly impact the ability of public water systems to forecast and control costs," the memo reads, per Seacoast Online. "The consequences would likely include significant additional costs for water system customers.”
For similar stories visit Water Online’s Drinking Water Regulations And Legislation Solutions Center.
Image credit: "Courtroom One Gavel, March 2016" Joe Gratz © 2016 used under an Attribution

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