Senate Democrats Applaud Passage of Groundwater Withdrawal Legislation

For Immediate Release

Contact: Molly Cowan

P: 603 271-3077

F: 603 271-3027


Thursday, March 16, 2006

CONCORD , NH – The New Hampshire Senate today passed SB 386, legislation relative to large groundwater withdrawals, by a large margin.

SB 386 allows local communities impactedby large groundwater withdrawals to participate in the permitting process in a number of ways. The legislation gives towns intervenor status, however towns do not have veto power over permits.

"This bill will give local communities more protection over water resources," explained Senator Iris Estabrook (D-District 21), co-sponsor of SB 386. "It is important for the state to focus on the impact large water withdrawal permits have on local municipalities, and this bill will bring all stakeholders to the table."

The bill adds the administration of the public trust interests in groundwater to the duties of DES, adds an appeal to the superior court to the appeal process for large groundwater withdrawal permits, and enables towns with groundwater withdrawal permits to obtain a determination from DES that the public trust is not being violated.

"This is a non-partisan issue, and I am pleased to see it pass with a great amount of bipartisan support, "concluded Sen. Peter Burling (D-District 5).

SB 386 was sponsored by Sen. Green, Sen.Burling, Sen. Barnes, Sen. Eaton, and Sen. Estabrook.