Revision: Dec. 3, 2019, 9:50 a.m.
HB 1456-FN - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1456-FN
SPONSORS: Rep. Weyler, Rock. 13; Rep. Welch, Rock. 13; Rep. Green, Rock. 13; Rep. M. Pearson, Rock. 34; Rep. Guthrie, Rock. 13; Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19
COMMITTEE: Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs
This bill requires the department of environmental services to provide testing of PFAS levels to pregnant women and to provide pregnant women with elevated PFAS levels with drinking water that has low levels of PFAS in it.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
485:16-f Per-and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Acid; Testing of Pregnant Women. The department shall establish a voluntary testing program for the presence of per-and poly-fluoroalkyl acid (PFAS) for women who are pregnant. If testing finds that a woman has a level of PFAS in her body higher than levels deemed acceptable by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, then the drinking water system at the woman's home shall be tested for PFAS by the department at cost to the department. If such testing finds that the level of PFAS in the woman's drinking water system are higher than standards set by the department, the department shall, at cost to the department, provide the woman with a source of drinking water with a measured level of PFAS low enough to meet departmental standards for the rest of the woman's pregnancy and period of breast feeding the infant or infants or for one year, whichever comes first.
HB 1456-FN- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ ] Other
This bill establishes a voluntary testing program for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl acid (PFAS) in the blood of pregnant women. The bill requires that if a woman is tested for PFAS in her blood and the test result exceeds Center for Disease Control (CDC) standards, the Department of Environmental Services shall test the drinking water in the pregnant woman's home. If the test detects PFAS in the drinking water, the Department shall provide alternative drinking for the duration of the pregnancy and for the period of breast feeding or up to one year, whichever comes first. In considering the fiscal impact, the Department assumes the program will begin on January 1, 2021, the State Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for PFAS compounds will stay the same through the life of the proposed program, and no new major contamination site is discovered within the State. It is further assumed, as no source of funds is identified in the bill, costs will be borne by the general fund.
The Department indicates the State does not track pregnancies but monitors how many births occur within the State. On average there are 12,500 births in New Hampshire each year. Assuming this approximates the number of pregnancies (it does not account for births of twins, triplets or pregnancies that do not result in birth). If 12,500 pregnant woman take advantage of the test and the tests were run through an external laboratory at a cost of $500 per test, the annual cost would be $6.25 million. In addition there would administrative costs to manage the program and to develop and deliver communications relative to the availability of the testing. As an alternative, the State laboratory could be expanded to include these testing capabilities. The DHHS, Division of Public Health Services estimates the cost to expand the lab would be as follows:
Year 1 Years 2-9
Equipment $1,050,000 $0
(10 year useful life)
Annual Contract/Supplies $1,562,500 $1,562,500
Validation/Proficiency Testing $40,000 $40,000
Personnel $310,000 $310,000
Printing/Mailing $40,000 $40,000
Indirect Cost/Overhead $1,167,639 $759,306
TOTAL $4,170,139 $2,711,806
If testing finds a woman has a level of PFAS in her body higher than levels deemed acceptable by the CDC, the bill requires the drinking water at the woman’s home to be tested by the Department at the Department’s expense. The Department reports that no such level has been set by the CDC and no such level is expected in the foreseeable future. The CDC has not initiated efforts to set such a guideline and a multi-year process would be followed to set such a guideline. If instead, the required drinking water test was based on a blood serum test showing a detection of PFAS, an analysis of drinking water sources for all pregnant women could be assumed. In New Hampshire, 40% of homes receive their drinking water from private wells. Assuming public water sources will have completed their initial rounds of testing, only private wells would require testing. That testing would cost approximately $1.5 million (40% of 12,500 = 5,000 wells x $300 per test). In addition, there would be additional expenditures for the sampling team to perform the testing and generate and deliver the test reports to the pregnant women. The additional labor costs, based on existing sampling teams, would be approximately $160,000 per year.
The Department indicates 7-9% of wells tested throughout the state have shown PFAS levels above the state's Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL). Assuming 8% of the drinking water sources tested, (both private wells and public sources), exceed the state MCLs, the Department would supply bottled water to 1,000 homes (12,500 x 8%). The estimated annual cost would be $500,000. While bottled water is a short-term remedy, it is not satisfactory for most citizens due to challenges involving delivery, handling, and recycling after use. A typical Point of Entry (POE) filtration system for homes is approximately $5,000 to install and $1,000 per year to maintain. If these residences were provided POEs instead of bottled water the estimated annual costs would be $5 million for installations and an additional $1,000 per system for maintenance. This is likely an overestimation because some younger households will have repeat pregnancies while a system is installed, reducing the procurement and installation costs while increasing the annual maintenance costs.
Because of the number of uncertainties such as: the number of actual pregnancies, if the pregnancies are randomly distributed or more concentrated in more industrial areas, the actual level of contamination of water systems, how testing would be performed and how the drinking water would be provided, it is not possible to provide an accurate estimate of the cost.
There would be no impact to local or county governments.
Department of Environmental Services