HB1477 (2024) Detail

Relative to environmental surety bonds for businesses that pose a significant risk to the state's natural resources.


HB 1477-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2024 SESSION

24-2630

08/05

 

HOUSE BILL 1477-FN

 

AN ACT relative to environmental surety bonds for businesses that pose a significant risk to the state's natural resources.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Potenza, Straf. 19; Rep. Haskins, Rock. 11

 

COMMITTEE: Resources, Recreation and Development

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill directs the commissioner to develop a program requiring environmental surety bonds for businesses that pose a significant risk to the state's natural resources.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

24-2630

08/05

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Four

 

AN ACT relative to environmental surety bonds for businesses that pose a significant risk to the state's natural resources.

 

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

 

1  New Paragraph; Duties of Commissioner; Surety Bonds.  Amend RSA 21-O:3 by inserting after paragraph X the following new paragraph:

XI.  Identify industries doing business in the state that could potentially pollute the air, water, or soil and require persons working in such industries to have surety bonds in place during the licensing process.  The commissioner shall develop a formula to calculate the amount of the bond based on a percentage that would adequately compensate citizens for environmental damages caused by the person and to assist in remediation efforts.  The commissioner shall further develop a program to evaluate and renew bonds yearly considering factors such as company growth and profits.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBA

24-2630

11/14/23

 

HB 1477-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to environmental surety bonds for businesses that pose a significant risk to the state's natural resources.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

Estimated State Impact - Increase / (Decrease)

 

FY 2024

FY 2025

FY 2026

FY 2027

Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

Revenue Fund(s)

None

 

Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source(s)

General Fund

 

Appropriations

$0

$0

$0

$0

Funding Source(s)

None

 

Does this bill provide sufficient funding to cover estimated expenditures? [X] No

Does this bill authorize new positions to implement this bill? [X] No

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill directs the Commissioner of Environmental Services to develop a program requiring environmental surety bonds for businesses that pose a significant risk to the state's natural resources.  The Department of Environmental Services assumes the term “persons working in such industries” is intended to mean business owners or managers and the term “licensing” is intended to refer to the Department's permitting programs.  The Department states such a program would require a new bureau with additional positions necessary to:

  • develop the criteria and rules for the bond requirement,
  • identify applicable businesses (or “persons”),
  • develop estimates of potential environmental damages,
  • manage, track and enforce bonding requirements, and
  • calculate damages for awards.

As no criteria are provided in the bill, the bill could potentially impose bonding requirements on thousands of businesses or persons.  Estimating the number of new staff necessary to implement the requirements is not possible at this time.  Such requirements could cost in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars of new staff time.

 

Although incalculable, the Department presumes the bill would give rise to numerous requests for compensation by citizens and lead to continuous litigation requiring testimony by the Department's staff.  If the term “persons” refers to all persons working in identified businesses, the requirement could potentially apply to hundreds of thousands of employees in the state and therefore be unmanageable and unenforceable.

 

It is assumed any fiscal impact would not occur until FY 2025.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Environmental Services

 

Links


Date Body Type
Jan. 10, 2024 House Hearing
Jan. 24, 2024 House Exec Session
Jan. 24, 2024 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1477 Revision: 40059 Date: Dec. 11, 2023, 8:40 a.m.

Docket


Feb. 8, 2024: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 02/08/2024 HJ 4


Jan. 30, 2024: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate 01/24/2024 (Vote 19-0; CC)


Jan. 17, 2024: Executive Session: 01/24/2024 10:00 am LOB 305


Jan. 5, 2024: Public Hearing: 01/10/2024 02:00 pm LOB 305


Dec. 11, 2023: Introduced 01/03/2024 and referred to Resources, Recreation and Development HJ 1