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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Media Center

DATE: May 31, 2016
CONTACT: Jim Martin, 603 271-3710

NHDES Establishes Ambient Groundwater Quality Standard for Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS)

Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) announced today that it has filed an emergency rule to establish ambient groundwater quality standards (AGQS) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). NHDES has set three groundwater standards: 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA, 70 ppt for PFOS and 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS combined, where the chemicals are found together. These standards give NHDES the authority to direct site remediation activities related to these contaminants, and also require public water systems to comply with these standards if these contaminants are found in their sources of drinking water. The emergency rule is effective immediately for 180 days, during which time NHDES will be undertaking a regular rulemaking process to adopt rules on a long-term basis. The regular rulemaking process will include opportunities for public input.

NHDES has established these AGQS based on the lifetime health advisories (HAs) released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 19, 2016. NHDES carefully reviewed the HAs and all of the supporting materials used by EPA in establishing the HAs, and determined that the HAs are protective of the public health, both for short-term and long-term exposure periods, and are appropriate for adoption as state ambient groundwater quality standards to prevent risks to public health.

For more information about NHDES’s investigation into PFCs found in southern New Hampshire drinking water, please visit

NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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