By NANCY WEST and THOMAS CALDWELL, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD – Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed a waste bill Friday upsetting Democrats and some Republicans that would have created a buffer zone for new landfills to help prevent toxic pollutants from reaching nearby waterways.
Democrats were pleased by his second veto – that of House Bill 1022, allowing dispensing Ivermectin by a pharmacist using a standard order to treat COVID-19.
Sununu announced them Friday along with 36 bills he signed into law this week.
HB 1454 Veto
Relative to HB 1454, the Conservation Law Foundation said by vetoing the bill relative to landfill buffer zones, Sununu let New Hampshire down.
“While we ultimately need to move away from landfilling, it’s critical that the state develop strong laws regarding how and where these facilities are allowed to be located. All landfills eventually leak toxic pollutants and this bill would have ensured that our waters are better protected.
“The legislature must override this veto,” said Tom Irwin, Vice President of CLF New Hampshire.
In his veto message, Sununu said he agreed with the experts at the Department of Environmental Services that this bill would have been better suited as a study.
“It is extremely likely this bill would curtail landfill development in the state and lead to New Hampshire’s waste to be transported out of state, creating higher costs and property taxes for our citizens. New Hampshire’s landfill regulations are already rigorous and robust. According to the DES, there is no data indicating that the lined landfills currently operating and adhering to our regulations in the state are adversely affecting our state’s waterways.
“Therefore, while the intent of this bill is good, it is ultimately a solution in search of a problem. The requirements in HB 1454 would have likely prevented construction of some of the seven lined landfills operating in the state,” Sununu said.
Adam Finkel, a resident of Dalton who helped draft the bill, said every sentence in Sununu’s veto message on House Bill 1454 has one or more factual errors or grossly misleading statements.
“What can a nationally recognized expert in environmental science and smart regulation say about a veto message like this?” he said. “It fails the laugh test to claim that by making it hard to put a new landfill in extremely permeable sand or gravel and very near a lake or a river, it meaningfully would affect the supply of, demand for, and price of landfill services.”
Finkel, who used to help run a federal regulatory agency, said that while DES’s regulations for landfill construction “may be somewhat ‘rigorous and robust,’ its location (siting) requirements are embarrassingly weak.
“Vetoing this bill was capricious,” Finkel said.
HB 1022 Veto
House Health and Human Services and Elderly Affairs committee member Jerry Knirk, D-Freedom, said: “The Republican majority is focused more on conspiracy theories and pseudoscience than sound medical practices.
“Ivermectin studies show no evidence in treating COVID which can lead to many other health problems,” Knirk said. “House Democrats will stand united in assuring the veto blocking this legislation stands.”
In his veto message, Sununu said the state currently only has four instances in which pharmacists can dispense medication without a prescription. All drugs and medications should be subject to that same rigorous process if they are to be dispensed by standing order, he said.
Sununu said even with the veto, people can get Ivermectin if they have a prescription.
This week, Gov. Chris Sununu signed 36 bills into law:
HB 84, An act declaring May 21, 2022 as Ona Judge Staines Day
HB 293, An act relative to the procedure for adoption of a minor child
HB 347, An act relative to driving with a suspended license
HB 381, An act relative to laboratory testing
HB 481, An act establishing the office of the right-to-know ombudsman and making an appropriation therefor
HB 503, An act codifying the council on housing stability and relative to telehealth and medically assisted treatment for substance use disorder
HB 514, An act to ballot column rotation
HB 543, An act establishing a commission to study nuclear power and nuclear reactor technology in New Hampshire
HB 1039, An act relative to the definition of “beverage manufacturer retail outlet,” certain liquor licenses and fees, including beer and specialty beverage festival licenses, relative to direct to consumer shipments of alcohol
HB 1040, An act establishing a commission to study revenue alternatives to the road toll for the funding of improvements to the state’s highways and bridges and their resulting improvements to the environment
HB 1132, An act relative to applications for a charter conversion school
HB 1160, An act relative to obedience to signals at railroad crossings
HB 1178, An act prohibiting the state from enforcing any federal statute, regulation, or Presidential Executive Order that restricts or regulates the right of the people to keep and be arms
HB 1258, An act relative to the implementation of the department of energy and relative to the definition of “municipal host” for purposes of limited electrical energy producers
HB 1311, An act prohibiting persons charged with or convicted of certain assault or controlled drug possession violations from employment in a public school or being granted teaching credentials
HB 1335, An act relative to the parole board and the procedure for medical parole of prisoners
HB 1448, An act relative to the pretermitted heir statute
HB 1467, An act relative to recounts of state representative races during a general election
HB 1495, An act prohibiting the state from requiring businesses to require vaccine or documentation related to vaccination or immunity status
HB 1513, An act relative to the definition of a child with a disability under special education laws and providing funding for special education costs for students over age 21 until their 22nd birthday
HB 1526, An act relative to income eligibility for in and out medical assistance and relative to the executive committee for the mental health counseling compact
HB 1531, An act repealing certain statutory commissions relating to children and relative to the membership of the oversight commission on children’s services
HB 1552, An act establishing a board for the certification for the certification of assessing persons
HB 1597, An act permitting arraignments for felonies and preliminary examinations to be heard in circuit court
HB 1604, An act including state medical facilities in the statute providing medical freedom in immunizations, and relative to licensure of case management service providers
HB 1606, An act relative to administration of the state immunization registry
HB 1626, An act relative to the unique pupil identification system
HB 1661, An act relative to regional career technical education agreements, an appropriation for preliminary work for a new legislative parking garage, health and human services, establishing an extraordinary need grant for schools, training and procedures for zoning and planning boards, and financial investments and incentives for affordable housing development
HB 1671, An act relative to the content of an adequate education
SB 229, An act relative to pharmacist administration of vaccines
SB 271, An act relative to the Burgess BioPower facility
SB 364, An act relative to the use of electronic poll books
SB 397, An act relative to the mental health counseling compact and the interstate compact on the placement of children
SB 419, An act establishing a commission to study the delivery of public health services in New Hampshire through regional public health networks
SB 424, An act relative to renewable energy and natural gas
SB 445, An act relative to broadband matching grant initiative