By Michael Chipman
The piece of legislation I will be focusing my writing on is House Bill 1797-FN-A, which is being proposed by NH representative Jim McConnell, as well as the support of other political figures within the NH state government. The bill would add a 50 percent charge to all amounts assessed to persons liable for costs of containment, cleanup, and remediation of water, air and soil pollution. The committee representing NH voted against the bill 15 to 4, but the bill will still be sent to the house of representatives where they will again vote on the bill.
Due to the very lenient and almost non existent laws in New Hampshire that would limit and hold responsible large corporations and other companies for contaminating the air, soil, and water around their headquarters or wherever they are polluting the environment. I personally agree with house bill 1797-FN-A which was proposed by Jim McConnell. However I would recommend some ideas that could help get the bill pass in the house of representatives. What I would recommend is splitting the additional 50 percent fee to 25 percent instead. I personally believe that the state government wont pass a bill that is as extreme as this bill is. I believe that because New Hampshire doesn’t have any law in place that is similar to house bill 1797-FN-A it would be difficult to have the bill pass right away. However though I agree their should be a 50 percent additional fee, I think getting the bill passed would be easier and more realistic if the additional fee was 25%.
I would also change one part of the bill. I believe that instead of sending the additional fee that is collected to the New Hampshire state funds, instead have it go to those who are directly or indirectly affected by the pollution of the corporations and other smaller businesses. Instead of putting money back into the government I think that the money should cover the costs of the people who were affected and also go towards the New Hampshire environmental protection agency in the hope of possibly helping deter these actions of dumping hazardous waste by companies. Though I understand that the New Hampshire state funds could put the money towards those things, I personally believe that it would be better to give the money directly to those previously stated instead of giving the money to the state funds and it being indirectly contributed to those affected and helping out the new Hampshire environmental protection agency. I would also recommend giving money back to the community as well to help smaller businesses prosper and eliminate the need for larger corporations within a community.
In conclusion I agree with what Jim McConnell is trying to create as a policy in house bill 1797-FN-A. I believe that the additional fee would help deter pollution from companies as well as compensate those affected, give help to the state environment protection agency, as well as possibly giving back to the community. I believe this bill will help deter the crime of pollution as well as give back to the state.
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.