Bill Text: NH HB737 | 2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Establishing a commission to investigate and analyze the environmental and public health impacts relating to releases of perfluorinated chemicals in the air, soil, and groundwater in Merrimack, Bedford and Litchfield.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 11-3)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-04-10 - Hearing: 04/16/2019, Room 103, State House, 08:50 am; Senate Calendar 18 [HB737 Detail]

Download: New_Hampshire-2019-HB737-Amended.html

HB 737 - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

19Mar2019... 0991h

2019 SESSION

19-0617

08/10

 

HOUSE BILL 737

 

AN ACT establishing a commission to investigate and analyze the environmental and public health impacts relating to releases of perfluorinated chemicals in the air, soil, and groundwater in Merrimack, Bedford and Litchfield.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Murphy, Hills. 21; Rep. Meuse, Rock. 29; Rep. W. Thomas, Hills. 21; Rep. Stack, Hills. 21; Rep. Cushing, Rock. 21; Rep. Knirk, Carr. 3; Rep. Salloway, Straf. 5; Rep. McMahon, Rock. 7; Rep. L'Heureux, Hills. 21; Rep. Mullen, Hills. 7; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Sherman, Dist 24; Sen. Chandley, Dist 11; Sen. Watters, Dist 4

 

COMMITTEE: Resources, Recreation and Development

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes a commission to investigate and analyze the environmental and public health impacts relating to releases of perfluorinated chemicals in the air, soil, and groundwater in Merrimack, Bedford, and Litchfield.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

19Mar2019... 0991h 19-0617

08/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT establishing a commission to investigate and analyze the environmental and public health impacts relating to releases of perfluorinated chemicals in the air, soil, and groundwater in Merrimack, Bedford and Litchfield.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  New Subdivision; Commission on the Environmental and Public Health Impacts of Perfluorinated Chemicals.  Amend RSA 126-A:77 by inserting after section 77 the following new subdivision:

Commission on the Environmental and Public Health Impacts

of Perfluorinated Chemicals

126-A:78  Commission on the Environmental and Public Health Impacts of Perfluorinated Chemicals.

I.  There is established a commission to study environmental and public health impacts resulting from per fluorinated chemicals (PFAS)  releases to the air, soil, and water in Merrimack, Litchfield and Bedford.

II.(a)  The members of the commission shall be as follows:

(1)  Five members of the house of representatives, 3 of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and 2 of whom shall be appointed by the house minority leader.

(2)  Two members of the Senate, appointed by the president of the senate.

(3)  The commissioner of the department of health and human services, or designee.

(4)  The commissioner of the department of environmental services, or designee.

(5)  The director of the university of New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and Practice, or designee.

(6)  A representative from the New Hampshire Medical Society, appointed by the society.

(7)  Two citizens with backgrounds in environmental science and/or public health, appointed by the senators appointed to the commission.

(8)  A representative from each of the affected towns of Merrimack, Bedford, Litchfield, appointed by the governing body of such town.

(9)  Three residents, one from each of the affected towns of Merrimack, Bedford, Litchfield, appointed by the senators appointed to the commission.

(10)  A hydrogeologist, appointed by the New Hampshire chapter of the United States Geological Survey.

(11)  A toxicologist, epidemiologist, or environmental health professor from the University of New Hampshire, appointed by that institution.

(b)  Legislative members of the commission shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the commission.

III.(a)  The commission's study shall include, but not be limited to:

(1)  Obtain information necessary to delineate the extent of PFAS drinking water contamination from airborne, soil and groundwater releases.

(2)  Assess and implement steps necessary to investigate public health impacts from PFAS exposures to air, soil and drinking water.

(3)  Assess sources and impacts to surface water from wastewater and other discharges from the Merrimack, New Hampshire Saint Gobain plant.

(4)  Assess whether soil regulations are sufficient to contain contaminated materials.

(5)  Investigate and analyze the findings and related materials.

(6)  Develop prioritized governmental and community actions.

(7)  Review the progress made by state and federal agencies, if appropriate, and their partners.

(8)  Delineate the potential roles and responsibilities for municipalities, state agencies, and their partners.

(9)  Communicate to the public about the environmental and public health impacts of the PFAS exposure investigation and analysis.

(10)  Assess whether current rules or regulations are sufficiently protective of public health and propose legislation, as necessary, to protect public health.   

(11)  Recommend legislation, as necessary, to carry out the charge of the commission or resulting from any commission findings.

(12)  Assess whether current penalties and regulatory controls are sufficiently protective of the environment and public health and recommend changes necessary.

(13)  Assess agreements between the state and Saint Gobain and propose additional actions necessary to achieve the charge of the commission and,

(b)  The commission shall solicit information from any person or entity the commission deems relevant to its study.  State agency participation, if existing resources are shown to be insufficient, may be based upon additional appropriations recommended by the commission and approved by the general court.

IV.  The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members.  The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the first-named house member.  The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section.  Seven members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

V.  The commission shall submit an interim report of its findings on November 1, each year between 2020 and 2024, and a final report of its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the house clerk, the senate clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before November 1, 2024.

2  Repeal.  RSA 126-A:78, relative to the commission on the environmental and public health impacts of perfluorinated chemicals, is repealed.

3  Effective Date.

I.  Section 2 of this act shall take effect November 1, 2024.

II.  The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.

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