By Samuel Czel
A piece of legislation we have discussed so far this term includes House Bill 1610. This bill was proposed and introduced by State Senator Jim McConnell. This bill discussed that home owners in New Hampshire, should and must disclose more information when selling their home and property. Through researching this topic, we learned that currently, homeowners in New Hampshire must only disclose a handful of information, typically regarding asbestos, argon and lead. This bill would require further information be disclosed such as Superfund sites in the area. While I am not currently a resident of New Hampshire I do believe that everywhere, people should be informed as to what they are purchasing.
Jim McConnel spoke to us and informed us that in the West Swanzey area, people of all ages were becoming ill and were often diagnosed with miscellaneous types of cancer. After researching this he learned there was a Superfund site in the immediate area, that was most likely the cause of these events. Unfortunately, the area effected has failed to be classified as a cancer cluster in the state of New Hampshire. Cancer clusters are known as areas that high diagnoses of cancer occur. While it is suspected that this Superfund site can and will continue to develop more events like these, nothing can be done about it currently.
This bill Jim McConnell has proposed has my support. If a potential home owner or their family has the potential to be impacted negatively by events that happened prior to their purchase, they legally should be notified. My only concern for the bill is Jim McConnell states that any Superfund site within a one-mile radius should be disclosed when selling the house. This would affect way too many properties, especially on the sea coast. It is scientifically proven that MTBE, the chemical responsible for these cancer outbreaks cannot move that far down stream and still harm an individual. Overall, I support the bill fully if the distance is shortened to one half mile.
NH Science for Citizens
Department of Environmental Studies
Keene State College
Keene, NH 03431
A project of students and faculty at Keene State College in collaboration with local NH state representatives.