LITCHFIELD, N.H. (AP) — A top New Hampshire environmental official says the federal government should be leading the way in setting standards for a class of toxic chemicals that has caused widespread contamination in the state.

The state's Department of Environmental Services Assistant Commissioner Clark Freise said at a Tuesday congressional hearing chaired by Democratic U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas that states don't have enough resources to regulate chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS.

He said the federal government should be examining how to regulate the thousands of known PFAS compounds as a family and setting standards.

Friese's statement comes after New Hampshire last month enacted some of the toughest standards for the chemicals. The state now has the lowest standard for one contaminant known as PFOA and the second lowest for another known as PFOS.

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