May 29, 2019
Contact Name: Sara Persechino
Phone: (603) 271-3479
CONCORD—Today the Chairs of the Senate Energy and Health and Human Services Committees, Senator Martha Fuller Clark and Senator Tom Sherman respectively, released the following statement after Governor Chris Sununu announced that New Hampshire would be entering into lawsuits against the makers of PFAS chemicals for drinking water contamination in the state. Both Senate Democrats represent districts on the Seacoast that have been ground zero in the fight against PFAS contamination and have previously met with the Mayor and City Manager of Portsmouth urging them to take legal action similar to the role they played in the successful MTBE lawsuit.
“The cost of remediation for PFAS contamination should not be borne on the backs of local taxpayers in impacted areas. This lawsuit is the right thing today because it will help ensure New Hampshire communities aren’t obligated to absorb the costs of environmental cleanup efforts, which is clearly a responsibility of the PFAS manufacturers whose products caused the contamination,” said Senator Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth). “There have been examples of other states, like Minnesota, that have successfully litigated against manufacturers like 3M on the basis of environmental contamination and I’m grateful New Hampshire is taking this approach, too.”
Senator Sherman had previously urged Governor Sununu and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald to join this lawsuit. Senator Sherman met with Attorney General MacDonald on February 21 and again on May 9, each time urging the state to bring suit against manufacturers, recognizing that New Hampshire taxpayers should not bear the burden of cleanup of chemicals marketed and sold by manufacturers who have been aware of their toxicity since the early 1960s.
“On two separate occasions I urged the New Hampshire’s Attorney General to bring suit against PFAS manufacturers, recognizing that New Hampshire taxpayers should not bear the burden of cleanup of chemicals marked and sold by companies that have been aware of their toxicity since the early 1960s,” explained Senator Tom Sherman (D-Rye). “Further PFAS detections in Stratham, Kingston, East Kingston, and Brentwood underscore my concern that New Hampshire does not have the resources to address this remediation on our own. I am very pleased to see the Governor and Attorney General have followed my recommendation to join this lawsuit. Families across the Seacoast and New Hampshire have been facing challenges due to PFAS contamination for years, and the companies responsible for this contamination should be held accountable.”