Town Council Discuss PFAS Commission Representation

By Alex Malm

At the Jan. 24 Londonderry Town Council meeting the Council discussed who they should appoint to the PFAS Study Commission.

Londonderry Assistant Town Manager Lisa Drabik explained that there has been a State legislatively created commission to study the environmental and public health impacts of PFAS chemicals. Drabik said that right now Londonderry doesn’t have any representation on the Commission but were recently told they are allowed to have two people from Londonderry on it.

Drabik said that there are two different appointments that the Town has.

The first one is a representative from Londonderry appointed by the governing body. There aren’t any restrictions on it and the Town Council can appoint anyone. She said that one example is Merrimack, which has a Town Councilor serving as their representative who is also a State Representative and the person who wrote the Bill to create the Commission.

The other appointment is supposed to be a resident who is a member of a drinking water related advocacy organization. While the Town Council doesn’t get to decide they are allowed to make recommendations. The Senate President is ultimately the one who decides on who is selected.

Town Councilor Tom Dolan said he has already been selected for the senate appointment but it hasn’t gone to the Senate process.

“When it does make its way through that process I would volunteer to fill that role,” said Dolan.

Drabik said that if they want Dolan on it right away the Council could make the appointment as their selection. She said if they do so they can then immediately solicit interest from people in Town in order to make a recommendation for the second representative.

The Council ultimately unanimously approved making Dolan the appointment from the Town Council. Dolan said that they should look for an engineer or someone in the related field so they have some knowledge of what is being discussed at the meetings, especially at first. It was also noted that they could ask members of the PFAS Task Force in Town to see if anyone would be interested in being on the Commission.

Town Councilor Deb Paul said that she has been going to the meetings to observe for the last six months or so and said that she had a long conversation with State Representative Rosemarie Rung which is how she found out that Londonderry doesn’t have anyone sitting on the Commission.

She said that she also found out that they are looking for other members from different professions and if they were able to recruit residents who fit the need they would be able to have even more representation on the Commission from Londonderry.

Paul said it would be smart to find residents who are able to join the Commission in that capacity.