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Pollution bill will help Merrimack

HB-478 is being heard this Friday in the legislative Judiciary committee. This is an important bill that enforces adequate and fair restitution from an industrial polluter toward Merrimack Town residents, who have been adversely affected. HB-478 holds one industrial polluter accountable for their actions and sets a precedent to help other NH citizens.

The precedent is particularly important to towns and cities like Merrimack that had entered into an agreement that under-estimated harms and was not enforced, which left residents having to absorb the cost of cleaning up ‘forever chemicals’ to protect their health.

I had conversations with the Honorable Dick Hinch regarding this bill before he passed. Dick knew how important it was to our town and future towns or cities to have an opportunity to revisit initial agreements that were not properly enforced and/or harms not adequately estimated due to the then regulatory standards that grossly underestimated the toxicity of the pollution.

This bill has the wide-spread support of the residents of Merrimack who stand to gain some monetary reimbursement for addressing pollution that has been AND CONTINUES TO BE foisted on their town. It is important to have it in place so that if or when another town or water supplier is harmed by contamination from a polluter, and that polluter fails to comply with DES mandated corrections, or if DES fails to take enforcement action in follow-up to a demand letter to a polluter for remedial action, then that town or water supplier will have an avenue available to them to compel the polluter to take remedial action, through an act of the legislature.

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