NH Drinking Water and Groundwater Advisory Commission
In 2016 the New Hampshire Legislature passed, and Gov. Maggie Hassan signed Senate Bill 380 into law, which established a dedicated Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund as well as the commission charged with determining how the funds will be allocated. The $276 million fund is financed by the proceeds from the State’s lawsuit against the Exxon Mobil Corporation’s liability for the MTBE contamination of groundwater.
Even though the Commission has not yet developed a long-term allocation plan, Senator Russman’s statement is notable for two reasons:
- It indicates that Commission members are considering an all-inclusive approach towards meeting the statutory purpose of the trust fund. While we recognize that a portion of those funds are needed to remediate contaminated sites and ensure residents near such sites have access to clean drinking water, preventing future contamination through source protection is cost-effective.
- Russman also is chairing the sub-committee of the Commission which must develop the specific rules the State will follow in order to award grants and loans to eligible projects. We will certainly encourage the Commission to adopt final rules that include funding for projects that use permanent land conservation to secure source water protection.
The members of the Commission’s rule-making subcommittee are:
• Rachel Miller, Chief Deputy State Treasurer
• Paul Sanderson – NH Fish & Game
• David Paris – NH Waterworks Association
• Tim Vadney – NH Water Pollution Control Association
• Richard Russman – State or regional land trust, appointed by the governor
• Rodney Bartlett – public member appointed by the president of the senate
• Bernie Rousseau – public member appointed by the speaker of the house
• Clark Freise – NH Department of Environmental Services
The roster of the full commission membership can be found here. The next meeting of the full commission is on November 2 at 9:00 in Room 210 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord. The subcommittee next meets on November 17 at 9:00 in Room 103 of the State House.