Dioxin: Legislative Developments

February 16, 2017 | Commercial Litigation | Complex Torts & Product Liability

New Hampshire Bill Would Require Sediment Analysis at Construction Sites

A New Hampshire state representative, Wayne Burton, has introduced a bill that would require construction projects that disturb sediments of estuarine waters to analyze the characteristics of the sediments and submit a chemical analysis of the sediments to the state’s Department of Environmental Services (“DES”) to receive a DES permit.

House Bill 376 would add a new paragraph to existing New Hampshire law governing disturbances within the Great Bay system. Under the current version of the bill, the new text would state:

A person commencing a construction project requiring a permit under this chapter that will cause substantial disturbance of sediments of estuarine waters shall analyze the characteristics of the sediments and report them to the department of environmental services at the time of application for a permit.  The analysis shall include core samples to a depth of 6 inches below the proposed disturbance area and shall test for the presence of toxic contaminants including, but not limited to, poly-chlorinated biphenyls (Pcbs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxin, perfluorinated chemicals (PFSCCs), heavy metals including mercury and lead, and any other contaminant, the presence of which is reasonably foreseeable.  Core samples shall be taken from more than one location, as necessary to ensure the collection and analysis of representative sediments.  A permit shall not be issued under this chapter if this analysis shows the presence of toxic contaminants at or beyond levels deemed hazardous by the department of environmental services.

The bill provides that it is to take effect 60 days after its passage.

Representative Burton (D-Durham) reportedly filed the bill in response to the Seacoast Reliability Project proposed by Eversource. That 13 mile project includes substation upgrades and a new 115-kilovolt (kV) transmission line connecting two existing substations in Madbury and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Representative Burton was quoted by local media as saying that he submitted his bill “because it was apparent the testing done by Eversource on the bay was inadequate.”

For further information, please contact James V. Aiosa, Paul V. Majkowski, Lawrence S. Han, or your regular Rivkin Radler attorney.

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