New Hampshire Rules on Toxic “Forever Chemicals” Supported by Environmental Groups in Landmark State Supreme Court Case

CONCORD, NH – Supporting the state’s effort to protect public health from highly toxic “forever chemicals,” Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) filed a brief today in a landmark PFAS case in New Hampshire’s Supreme Court. 3M is challenging the state’s new rules establishing drinking water standards for the toxic chemicals.

“3M is fighting to keep New Hampshire residents in the dark about the harm they’re facing from the corporation’s toxic ‘forever chemicals.’ These dangerous compounds have been linked to cancer of the kidneys and testicles and harm to pregnant moms and infants at extremely low levels of exposure. It’s intolerable that the polluter 3M is adding insult to injury by seeking to block the state’s effort to protect its residents from the chemicals 3M unleashed into our homes and bodies,” said Erik D. Olson, NRDC’s senior strategic director of health and food. 

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances include suspected carcinogens and have been linked to a variety of severe health problems including learning disorders in infants and children, fertility and pregnancy issues and impaired liver, thyroid and pancreatic function. It’s estimated that almost every American has at least one of these substances in their blood.

“The rules are designed to protect people in New Hampshire from the dangerous impacts of these toxic chemicals, and it’s essential that they be allowed to go into effect,” said Tom Irwin, Vice President and Director of CLF New Hampshire. “We all should be able to turn on our taps without wondering if our water is safe. 3M’s case is nothing more than a giant corporation’s attempt to put their profits over the health and safety of our communities.”

Called ‘forever chemicals’ because of their persistence in the environment, PFAS have been widely used to make nonstick cookware, food wrappers, water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.

Last year, New Hampshire issued rules regulating four PFAS in the state’s drinking water and groundwater. 3M has produced these dangerous chemicals for years and is now challenging the new rules.

Legal documents:

Experts are available for further comment.


NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​