September 15, 2022 (CONCORD, NH) – The New Hampshire Senate failed to override Governor Sununu’s veto of a bill that would protect the state’s waters from dangerous landfill pollution. The bill would have required developers to hire an independent specialist to prove that it would take at least five years for any contamination from a new landfill to flow into a nearby body of water. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement in response.
“All landfills eventually leak. While we ultimately need to move away from burying our waste, we need to make sure landfills are safe for New Hampshire in the meantime,” said Tom Irwin, Vice President CLF New Hampshire. “This bi-partisan, commonsense bill would have protected the state’s waterways from toxic pollution. It’s unfortunate that our state senate failed us.”
New Hampshire law requires new landfills to be at least 200 ft away from nearby waterways. But this one-size-fits all siting requirement does not protect our environment. Instead, it allows companies to develop landfills in areas that threaten our rivers, lakes, streams, and coastal waters. HB 1454 would have ensured that landfills are sited in locations where, when a leak occurs, there is time to detect and clean up any contamination before it reaches local waters and becomes irreversible.
CLF experts are available for further comment.