New study: NH streams are too salty

Jul 25, 2018
road salt

A new study from University of New Hampshire researchers concluded that 11% of streams in the Merrimack River watershed are impacted by high salt concentrations.

The Merrimack River watershed covers parts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

The high salt concentration comes from road salt applied in the winter. However, streams can be especially salty during the summer, especially if there is a drought.

Salt pollution harms plants and animals that live in lakes and streams.

Bill for lower PFC limits in water dies in committee

Jun 17, 2017
PFC contamination in drinking water

A conference committee of representatives and senators failed to agree on a final version of a bill to set stricter limits on the amount of PFCs in water.

Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are chemicals used in firefighting foam, nonstick cookware, stain-resistant carpeting, and many other products. The state Department of Environmental Services is investigating PFC contamination in several towns in southern New Hampshire.

Does NH need to regulate a gold rush?

May 30, 2017
recreational gold prospecting

According to a recent article in the Union Leader, TV shows like Yukon Gold have sparked a small gold rush in New Hampshire.  

There are no known large deposits of gold in the Granite State, but recreational prospectors can find small pieces of gold in the gravel at the bottom of streams in northern and western New Hampshire.

The state does not require a permit if a prospector uses a handheld pan to search for gold. 

Saint-Gobain paying for public water extension

Apr 20, 2017
PFOA water contamination

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics is paying for public water extensions in at least four communities.

Most recently, the company is paying to design a public water extension to sixty-one homes in Bedford with private wells contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

PFOA is a chemical used in firefighting foam, nonstick cookware, stain-resistant carpeting, and many other products. 

Will seacoast cancer cluster task force continue?

Dec 15, 2016

So far Governor-elect Chris Sununu has not indicated whether he will continue the Governor’s Task Force on the Seacoast Cancer Cluster Investigation. 

Governor Maggie Hassan created the volunteer Task Force last summer to coordinate state and local agencies investigating a higher than expected number of rare childhood cancer cases on the seacoast.  Members include state officials, local officials, legislators, and seacoast residents.

Should NH have stricter PFOA standards?

Sep 15, 2016

A New Jersey committee has recommended a limit of 14 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA in drinking water. That is much lower than the standard New Hampshire is using, 70 ppt.

PFOA is a chemical used in firefighting foam, nonstick cookware, stain-resistant carpeting, and many other products.

The long-term health effects of PFOA are not fully understood. While almost everyone has small amounts of PFOA in their body, some studies suggest long-term exposure is linked to cancer and other health problems.

Meeting on PFCs July 19

Jul 13, 2016

On Tuesday, July 19 the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Department of Environmental Services (DES) will host a public meeting about the investigation into perfluorochemicals (PFCs) in southern New Hampshire’s water supply.

Should all water systems test for PFOA?

Jun 03, 2016

After test results revealed water contamination near Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics in Merrimack, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services began testing other water systems for elevated levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). So far the state has tested sites in Bedford, Litchfield, Londonderry, Amherst, and Salem near plastic plants and landfills.

The science on PFOA exposure is still very new, but some studies suggest an association between prolonged PFOA exposure and health problems such as high cholesterol and thyroid disease.

Should NH order lead testing of all school water systems?

Apr 13, 2016

Legislators in New Jersey are sponsoring legislation that would require schools to test drinking water supplies for lead contamination after nearly half of public school buildings in Newark were shown to have lead-contaminated water.

Lead consumption has been linked to behavioral problems, lowered IQ, and cognitive disability in young children.

Pollution in Merrimack water?

Mar 11, 2016

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) is investigating the presence of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) in the water in Merrimack.

PFCs are man made chemicals used in nonstick cookware, stain resistant carpeting, and more.

The PFCs in Merrimack are most likely from the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics plant. Saint-Gobain recently tested water at its plant and found PFCs at low levels (0.03 micrograms per liter). Saint-Gobain reported those results to DES, which will now conduct water testing around Merrimack.

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