The Bulletin Board

House to take up environmental issues on Wednesday

By: - February 14, 2022 1:04 pm
Doors to the House chamber in the State House

The bill targets so-called sanctuary cities, including Hanover and Lebanon. (Dana Wormald | New Hampshire Bulletin)

This article was updated at 6:42 a.m. on Feb. 16, 2022. A prior version of this article incorrectly stated when the state’s solid waste plan was updated.

PFAS, landfills, water quality: The House will take up a host of bills addressing environmental issues facing the state when the full body convenes this Wednesday. Here are some of the key issues they’ll be voting on.


A proposal to ban the sale of products containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl “forever” chemicals is up for a vote on Wednesday, after failing to gain the approval of the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee. Rather, the panel unanimously recommended further study on the issue “given that there is an incredible amount of items that are made with PFAS,” according to the committee report. Merrimack Republican Rep. Bill Boyd introduced House Bill 1589 as a way of stopping the chemical pollution at its source.

Another bill takes up the issue of PFAS in the soil, instructing the Department of Environmental Services to establish soil remediation standards to protect groundwater and human health. House Bill 1547 would also make a polluter responsible for providing safe water for an individual with contaminated well water. The Environment and Agriculture Committee unanimously recommended that the bill pass. 


House Bill 1420 would prevent the state from issuing new landfill permits until the state’s solid waste plan is updated. The state is required to update its solid waste plan every six years per New Hampshire law, but the current plan was created in 2003 and was supposed to be updated in 2009. With unanimous support out of committee, the bill is poised to pass without debate on the consent calendar for Wednesday.

The House Environment and Agriculture Committee rolled together a few proposals on landfill siting into one study committee bill: House Bill 1049. The study committee would look at what criteria are used for siting landfills and how to reduce pressure on landfill capacity.

Water quality

Lawmakers are looking to require schools to alert parents when high levels of lead are found in school drinking water, a change that House Bill 1421 would make.

An attempt to change the Department of Environmental Services to the Department of Environmental Protection failed to get committee support before arriving at the House floor. House Bill 1452 also looked at tackling water quality in private wells, authorizing the department to inspect these wells and take samples. Changing the name would cost over half a million dollars, according to the department, which testified in opposition. The committee did not recommend advancing the bill, unanimously agreeing that it should be studied further.

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Amanda Gokee
Amanda Gokee

Amanda Gokee reported on energy and environment for New Hampshire Bulletin. She also previously reported on these issues at VTDigger. Amanda grew up in Vermont and is a graduate of Harvard University. She received her master’s degree in liberal studies, with a concentration in creative writing, from Dartmouth College. Her work has also appeared in the LA Review of Books and the Valley News.