Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund.

NH Local News: Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund grants.


North Country Communities Receive Grants

Colebrook, Bethlehem Village District, and Northumberland receive first Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund grants.

Concord, NH - Governor Chris Sununu, Senate President Chuck Morse, and Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Bob Scott, presented ceremonial checks to town officials from Colebrook, Northumberland, and the Bethlehem Village District, as part of the first grant awards from the Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund.

"For years, we have heard how the state could not control local property taxes, but what we have done is use our Drinking and Groundwater Trust Fund grants to give our local towns more financial flexibility to target key areas of need," said Governor Chris Sununu. "Thanks to Republican leadership, these towns are receiving critical funds to offset the cost to local taxpayers."

"I am pleased to see multiple grants awarded today totaling $2.1 million from the Drinking Water and Ground Water Trust Fund to support essential water supply projects underway in the communities of Colebrook, Bethlehem and Northumberland," said Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem). "These communities were chosen to receive grants that would close the funding gap ensuring that they can address critical infrastructure needs and alleviate local water supply concerns. The Drinking Water and Ground Water Trust Fund Commission has upheld its goals of moving this money into our communities to address the water supply needs of communities quickly and effectively. The grants awarded today are yet another example of how this fund will ensure our state continues to have clean, safe drinking water in every home in New Hampshire."

"The goal for everyone involved is to provide the kind of infrastructure required to protect public health, but we are acutely aware of the financial obstacles that these projects pose for municipalities," said Robert R. Scott, NHDES Commissioner. "This Trust Fund provides us with a unique opportunity to work with our towns and cities to bridge the gap and invest in long-term drinking water and groundwater quality."

The Trust Fund, established under RSA 485-F in 2017, is funded by the $276 million jury award the state of New Hampshire won in its methyl tertiary butyl ether (MtBE) contamination case against ExxonMobil. In establishing the Fund, Governor Sununu and the Legislature recognized that the widespread and persistent contamination of the state's drinking water and groundwater caused by contaminants such MtBE - and the need to invest in the state's drinking water infrastructure - required a comprehensive strategy designed to ensure the continued availability of safe drinking water for all New Hampshire citizens.

Each of these three projects has an element of public health protection: a lead service line replacement in Colebrook; a lead jointed cast iron water main replacement in Northumberland; and addressing the disinfection byproducts at the wastewater treatment plant in Bethlehem Village District.

The $1.15 million grant from the Trust Fund to the Town of Colebrook is being used to supplement a project already under construction to improve the water utilities along Main Street. It includes replacing all water mains, service connections and water meters on Main Street and side streets in the central village. The grant ensures that utility upgrades occur during the road work.

The $750,000 grant from the Trust Fund to the Bethlehem Village District is being used to supplement a project already under construction to upgrade the existing water treatment plant. The grant ensures there will be additional upgrades to improve worker safety and additional treatment if the elevated levels of disinfection byproducts remain outside of the regulatory limits.

The $200,000 grant from the Trust Fund to the Town of Northumberland is being used to supplement a project already under construction to improve many of the Town's water and sewer utilities. The grant will ensure the town addresses a public health-related portion of the project by replacing lead jointed cast iron water main from the water storage tank to the service area.

Posted 4/1/18


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