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Plymouth Village Water & Sewer District v. Scott

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20194
Nos. 217-2019-cv-00650, (N.H. Super. Ct., 11/26/2019) (McNamara, J.)

A state court preliminarily enjoined the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) from enforcing new rules that tightened allowable limits of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the state's drinking water and groundwater. A chemical manufacturing company argued that DES violated the rulemaking process by reaching PFAS limits in the final rules that were substantially lower than those articulated in the proposed rules, and that it violated the New Hampshire Safe Drinking Water Act (NHSDWA) by failing to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the rules on all affected parties. The court found that the final rules promulgated by DES were a logical outgrowth of its notice-and-comment rulemaking, but that it had not conducted an adequate cost-benefit analysis as required by the NHSDWA. It therefore enjoined DES from implementing the rules until it complies with the NHSDWA, but stayed the injunction until December 31 so that either party could seek immediate review of its decision.