NH Solid Waste Legislation Update - 2021 Session

The New Hampshire Legislature has begun its 2021 session, and NRRA has prepared a list of bills related to solid waste and recycling.  NRRA will periodically provide updates regarding these bills and encourages members to testify on bills relevant to their work.  NRRA may testify for some bills to educate lawmakers, but NRRA does not take a position on proposed legislation.   Last updated May 12, 2021.   

Legislative Process

State Senators and State Representatives first file what are known as Legislative Service Requests (“LSRs”).  An LSR is a simple proposal for a bill submitted by a member of the incoming Legislature that is later drafted into a detailed bill.  Then bills are assigned to committees in the House or Senate, depending on which chamber the bill originated in.  Next, bills are scheduled for hearings, where members of the public may testify in support or opposition to bills remotely or in writing.  The nonprofit New Futures provides a helpful description of the full process of how a bill becomes a law.   

To register support or opposition for a bill, or to testify remotely, see instructions for the NH House of Representatives and for the NH Senate.  

SB 146 (as amended): Omnibus legislation relative to the environment.  Part II establishes a statewide solid waste disposal reduction goal.  

Summary: This bill adopts omnibus legislation relative to the environment. 

  • Part II establishing a statewide solid waste disposal reduction goal to reduce the quantity by weight of solid waste disposed in landfills and incinerators by 25 percent by the year 2030, and by 45 percent by the year 2050. 
  • Part II would also change the timeline for NHDES to update the state's solid waste plan from every 6 years to every 10 years.
  • Note: Prior to amendment, Part III of this bill also included legislation related to PFAS in compost and a Plastics Advisory Council.  Those were eliminated in the amended version that passed.  

Status: Passed with amendment by the Senate on March 18, 2021.  Hearing by House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee held Wednesday, April 28 at 9:00 AM.  Executive Session scheduled for May 19 at 9 AM. 

HB 413: An Act establishing a solid waste working group on solid waste management planning and relative to compost. 

Summary: This bill establishes a solid waste working group on solid waste management planning.  This bill also requires the department of environmental services to make certain rules regarding compost.  Note: NRRA would have a representative on this working group. 

Status: Hearing held before the House Environment and Agriculture Committee on Feb. 17, 2021 at 2:00 PM.  NRRA testified.  A slightly amended version was passed unanimously by the Committee and was passed by the full House.  Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing held April 12 at 2 PM.  Committee voted ought to pass with amendment #2021-1241s. Passed with amendment on May 6. 

HB 177: Prohibiting the siting of a landfill near a state park. 

Summary: 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: Hearing held before the House Environment and Agriculture Committee on Feb. 3, 2021 at 1:00 PM.  Majority voted inexpedient to legislate.  Minority voted Ought to Pass with Amendment.  Hearing held before Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on May 10 at 1 PM. 

HB 618: An Act relative to the sale and distribution of polystyrene food service products.  

Summary: This bill prohibits the sale or distribution of polystyrene foam in food service businesses.

Status: Hearing held before the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs on Feb. 16, 2021 at 10:30 AM.  Majority voted inexpedient to legislate.  Minority voted ought to pass with amendment.  Floor decision: No action taken. 

 

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.  

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