Legislature and Governor Approve Legislation to Study How State Can Better Protect Drinking Water Sources

Matt Leahy | July 26, 2019
The Merrimack River from above near Stillhouse Forest.

Stillhouse Forest Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman/Ecophotography

Senate Bill 164 establishes a legislative committee to study the sustainability of the Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund (Trust Fund) and its Source Water Protection Grant Program. By conserving forest land critical to water quality, the Forest Society is committed to helping ensure New Hampshire residents continue to have access to clean drinking water. Many of our land protection projects, including our partnership efforts with Manchester Water Works in Candia and Hooksett, and our Stillhouse Forest project in Canterbury and Northfield, address this vitally important goal. In fact, we received two awards in the Trust Fund’s 2018 grant round to support these projects.

The passage of SB 164 is an important step toward guaranteeing the long-term viability of the Trust Fund, with the committee’s most important charge being to “identify potential funding mechanisms, including sources of dedicated funding, for the future protection of high priority drinking water resources.”  

The legislative members of the study committee have not yet been appointed. However, we would like to thank Senator Shannon Chandley for sponsoring the bill and for her leadership.  Her senate district includes the town of Merrimack, which has experienced acute PFOA/PFAS contamination of its drinking water supply. 

We encourage our readers to also thank Senator Chandley for her work.