NH Legislation & Dalton Landfill Updates

June 14, 2021

As the current NH legislative session nears an end, NRRA has prepared a summary of legislation relevant to solid waste and recycling, including many recent updates.  The bills address establishing a solid waste working group on solid waste management planning, updating compost regulations, establishing a statewide solid waste disposal reduction goal, and prohibiting the siting of a landfill near a state park.  The summary also includes a summary and recent updates regarding the proposed Casella landfill in Dalton, NH.   

HB 413: An Act establishing a solid waste working group on solid waste management planning, relative to compost, and establishing a statewide solid waste disposal reduction goal. 

Summary: This bill (1) establishes a solid waste working group on solid waste management planning; (2) requires the department of environmental services to make certain rules regarding compost; and (3) establishes a statewide solid waste disposal reduction goal (which was originally part of SB 146).  Note: NRRA would have a representative on the working group. 

Status: Passed by the Senate with amendment #2021-1241s on May 6.  Concurred by the House on June 10.  The governor may now choose to sign the bill into law, allow the bill to become law without a signature, or veto the bill. 

SB 103: Part II prohibiting the siting of a landfill near a state park.

Summary: Part II of this bill prohibits the siting of new landfills, excluding expansions of existing landfills, near state parks. This bill also defines state parks for the purposes of prohibiting the siting of new landfills. 

Status: After HB 177 was killed by the Senate, its language was added to SB 103 by House amendment 2021-1824h on June 4.  The Senate non-concurred with the amendment on June 10.   A Committee of Conference meeting was held on June 14, 2021.  The special committee voted to remove the HB 177 language from SB 103, so that language will not be included in SB 103.  

Proposed Dalton Landfill: SB 103 as amended is designed to prohibit the new landfill that Casella proposes to build in Dalton, NH.  The 137-acre landfill, to be located off New Hampshire Route 116, west of Forest Lake State Park, would serve as a new location for solid waste disposal as Casella's North Country Environmental Services (NCES) landfill in Bethlehem winds down operations.  NHDES granted Casella approval in October 2020 to enlarge the NCES landfill by six acres, which would allow it to operate through 2026, the year the proposed Dalton landfill would open.  The Conservation Law Foundation filed an appeal objecting to the NCES expansion permit in November 2020, which appeal is pending before the Waste Management Council. 

Casella applied for two permits from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) related to the landfill – a wetlands permit and a solid waste management permit.  On June 1, 2021, NHDES issued a letter to Casella informing the company that the permit application was incomplete.  On June 8, Dalton, NH residents voted to extend emergency temporary zoning that would prohibit the proposed landfill, which would be constructed near Forest Lake State Park.  More information about these recent developments is described in this New Hampshire Bulletin article.  NRRA will continue monitoring the developments on the proposed landfill and keep NRRA members informed.  


The NH Department of Environmental Services prepares a bill tracking matrix that is updated weekly.  NHDES also prepares a weekly NHDES Legislative Hearing Calendar showing upcoming legislative committee hearings and meetings on all bills and hearings relevant to NHDES.  In addition, here's a helpful overview of how a bill becomes a law

For questions or comments regarding this legislative update, contact Reagan Bissonnette, NRRA Executive Director, at (603) 736-4401 x116 or rbissonnette@nrrarecycles.org