HB269 (2021) Detail

Relative to abandoned underwater cables.


HB 269  - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2021 SESSION

21-0234

06/08

 

HOUSE BILL 269

 

AN ACT relative to abandoned underwater cables.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Silber, Belk. 2; Rep. O'Hara, Belk. 9; Rep. Bean, Belk. 2; Rep. Howard, Belk. 8; Rep. Bordes, Belk. 3; Rep. Hough, Belk. 3; Rep. Terry, Belk. 5; Rep. Gay, Rock. 8

 

COMMITTEE: Resources, Recreation and Development

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill prohibits the abandonment of underwater cables.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

21-0234

06/08

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One

 

AN ACT relative to abandoned underwater cables.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  New Subdivision; Merrill Fay Clean Lakes Act.  Amend RSA 487 by inserting after section 43 the following new subdivision:

Merrill Fay Clean Lakes Act

487:44  Title.  This subdivision shall be known and may be cited as the Merrill Fay Clean Lakes Act.

487:45  Purpose and Finding.  The general court finds that when an underwater cable running to any island in any lake in the state, whether from the mainland or from another island, is abandoned for any reason including, without limitation, when the cable being abandoned has been determined to be obsolete, defective, or inoperative in whole or in part and is being replaced by another cable, the failure or refusal to remove the obsolete, defective, or inoperative cable in connection with its replacement contaminates the lake bottom and surrounding environment and has the potential to interfere with boating near the location of the abandoned cable.

487:46  Definition.  In this subdivision, "underwater cable" means a cable, however constructed and whether containing traditional electrical conductors or fiber option conductors, laid, directly or indirectly, on the lake bottom and running to any island in any lake in the state, whether from the mainland or from another island, to carry electric service or telecommunication signals across stretches of the open lake, including without limitation telephone communication, cable television signals, and Internet traffic.

487:47  Cable Removal Required.

I.  Any person or entity installing any underwater cable in replacement of, or as a supplement to, any existing underwater cable that has been determined to be obsolete, defective, or inoperative in whole or in part, or the abandonment of such an existing underwater cable for any other reason, shall remove the abandoned underwater cable, whether partially or totally submerged, as an integral part of the installation of the new cable at the expense of the person or entity causing the new cable to be installed.

II.  Any person or entity causing any existing underwater cable to be abandoned without replacement for any reason whatsoever shall remove, or cause to be removed, the abandoned underwater cable whether partially or totally submerged at their own expense.

487:48  Penalty.

I.  Any person who violates the provisions of this subdivision shall be guilty of a violation.  Agents of the department of safety, division of state police, or any police officer of the municipality in which the abandoned underwater cable is submerged may issue citations for a violation of this section and issue fines of $500 for each day the abandoned cable remains in the water.

II.  No citation or fine so issued shall preclude the department from taking action under RSA 485-A:22 against any person or entity failing to remove an abandoned underwater cable, whether partially or totally submerged, such failure being deemed to constitute an impermissible and illegal contamination of the affected lake bottom; and no action initiated by the department of environmental services under RSA 485-A:22 shall preclude the issuance of citations and fines pursuant to paragraph I.

III.  Any person who knowingly fails to remove a submerged or partially submerged underwater cable being abandoned as required by this subdivision shall be guilty of a class B felony if the surface water is the source, or a tributary to a source, from which the domestic water supply of a city or town is taken, in whole or in part.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 180 days.

Links

HB269 at GenCourtMobile
HB269 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 3, 2021 House Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

HB269 Revision: 31571 Date: Jan. 9, 2021, 4:40 p.m.

Docket


Feb. 3, 2021: Public Hearing: 02/03/2021 11:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/92220129569 / Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.


Jan. 6, 2021: Introduced (in recess of) 01/06/2021 and referred to Resources, Recreation and Development HJ 2 P. 41