Date of Award

Summer 2022

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

John M Halstead

Second Advisor

Scott Lemos

Third Advisor

Catherine Ashcraft


In the past two decades there has been an increase in detection and awareness of PFAS (Per- or Polyfluoroalkyl substances) chemicals in groundwater and drinking water in the United States. In stark contrast to other known harmful chemical pollutants, little is known yet about the specific epidemiological and toxicological effects of prolonged intake and consumption of PFAS chemicals in environmentally occurring levels. New Hampshire in particular has encountered two high-profile episodes of PFAS contamination with hotspots in Merrimack, NH due to factory pollution and Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, NH due to military activity. These instances have brought increased attention to the issue from both the state legislature and residents.The purpose of this study was to ask New Hampshire residents how much they value the removal of PFAS chemicals from their public drinking water systems to reduce the risk of possible negative health outcomes that come with PFAS intake. Using data from a September 2021 online survey of New Hampshire residents and employing the contingent valuation survey method in the form of Willingness-To-Pay, we used several regression techniques, we determined that NH residents are willing to pay an additional $13.07 to their existing water bill to remove the risk of negative health outcomes stemming from PFAS consumption. Throughout the models, the most important confounding factor influencing higher willingness-to-pay values was the presence of moderate or major existing health concerns about drinking tap water.