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Government Proposals

This page highlights ongoing activities related to the health and stewardship of the lake, including key legislation under consideration in Concord and the deliberations/recommendations of Chesterfield’s Watershed Committee.

Town of Chesterfield

Board of Selectmen

Watershed Committee

Purpose:  to provide recommendations that would preserve the quality of Spofford Lake to the Town of Chesterfield Board of Selectmen.  The public is welcome to attend meetings, which typically convene every other Thursday from 9:30-11:00 at Town Hall.  

Minutes:  Minutes of the meetings can be found on the Town's website.

Public Hearing:  On February 15, the Watershed Committee held a public information session at Town Hall.   The Committee's presentation can be reviewed here.

Recommendations:  The Committee has already recommended a number of actions to Town government.  A synopsis of those can be found here.

To express your opinion contact

State of New Hampshire

HB 276--Cyanobacteria Loan and Grant Fund

March 24, 2023-- the House Finance Committee Division I, at the suggestion of prime sponsor Representative Rosemarie Rung - reconsidered the bill!  They unanimously voted to amend the bill to take out the $25 million and replace it with $1.  Now with no money in it, our understanding is that the amended bill will go back to the full House for vote and then, if passed, it would move to the Senate this session where it could be worked on and amended to address the funding mechanism.

On March 20, the full House Finance Committee voted to "retain" HB 276-FN-A, the bill that seeks to establish the cyanobacteria mitigation loan and grant fund.  The vote was 20 - 0 in support of retaining the bill.  This bill will not cross over to the Senate this session for consideration.  The committee acknowledged that while the bill addresses a laudable goal, the funding mechanism identified in the bill is "problematic."  The bill, as currently written, allows the state to borrow $25 million, which the state would then loan or grant out.  The Committee expressed concerns about how the state would repay the $25 million it was loaned.  Our current understanding is that the finance committee will continue to work on the bill this fall.  

On March 3, Representative Rosemarie Rung (prime sponsor) and Pat Tarpey (Executive Director of Lake Winnipesaukee Association), along with others, testified in support of HB 276-FN-A, establishing a cyanobacteria mitigation loan and grant fund, before the House Finance Committee, Division 1

They talked about how cyanobacteria blooms are increasing, how they threaten recreation and the economy, and how there is limited funding available to groups to implement projects that have already been identified through watershed plans to reduce the sources of pollution contributing to the blooms.

The Committee asked a number of questions, including where the $25 million dollar figure came from, what types of projects would help reduce the pollution feeding cyanobacteria blooms, and what projects generally cost. They also expressed some concerns about how the funding mechanism for the $25 million loan grant fund is structured in the bill. The bill, as currently written, allows the state to borrow the money to loan or grant out. There was some question about how would the state pay back money that was granted out. 

The committee voted to “retain” the bill so they can work on it and hopefully pass something on to the Senate this session. 

February 2023 -- read the amended bill here.

January 2023--would establish in DES a loan fund for the mitigation of cyanobacteria blooms.

A public hearing was held on Wednesday, January 25.  A recording of the session can be found on Youtube.  Click on the link and then forward to approximately 1:02 into the recording.  183 have signed in online in support with 1 opposed.  Rep. Rosemarie Rung, prime sponsor of the HB276, has asked Rep. Andy Renzullo to call for a subcommittee to draft an amendment to address a few issues that were raised by NHDES, and other logistical issues regarding the funding process, presumably after which the committee will take a formal vote.  

HB56 and HB602--Landfill Permits

The bill seeks to establish a method for determining the distance a new landfill can be located from rivers, lakes, or coastal waters. The setback would be determined to prevent any landfill spill from reaching surface or groundwater sources for a minimum of five years, allowing for remediation and planning.  

Late March 2023--The bill was passed by the full House of Representatives and will cross over to the Senate.

January 2023--would establish a 5-year setback of landfills from bodies of water.

HB56 is basically identical to the bill passed in 2022 and vetoed by the Governor. HB602 adds some requirements not in HB56. 

The 2022 bill (HB 1454) sought to establish a method to determine the distance (i.e., setback) for any new landfill located from rivers, lakes, or coastal waters.  The setback  would prevent any landfill spill from reaching surface or groundwater sources for a minimum of five years ,thereby allowing for remediation and planning. The current setback distance for landfills from surface waters is 200 feet. The bill was vetoed by the Governor.  

HB 137--Boating Safety Equipment and Vessel Numbering Rules

On March 7th the House Transportation Committee unanimously voted (20 Yea, 0 No) to recommend HB 137 "Ought to Pass."  Since there was an overwhelming majority, the committee agreed to have this bill put on the consent agenda at the next meeting of the full House of Representatives later this month.

This bill would establish a committee to study boat registration fees.  New Hampshire is out of compliance with Federal Coast Guard regulations on how boat registration fees are collected in the state.  Currently, when a boat owner registers their boat in New Hampshire, the state adds on additional fees to the boat registration fee. These additional fees support other critical programs, including the lake restoration and preservation fund. January 2023--would establish a committee to study boat registration fees. 

January -- The Coast Guard has notified NH that its registration fees are not in compliance with Federal law, which puts at risk funding received annually from the Coast Guard. The problem is that NH’s fee includes moneys for other programs in addition to that for boat registration. For example, it includes a fee for the state Lake Restoration and Preservation Fund, which in part helps fund the Lake Host program. Should the Coast Guard pull its funding, it would jeopardize the preservation fund (and other funds as well). The purpose of the committee is to revise the fee to comply with Federal guidelines and thereby preserve Coast Guard funding (which will be maintained for the present).

HB448 -- March 2023.    Committee Voted Against HB 448 to Raise Speed Limit on Lake Winnipesaukee

On March 22, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved the House Resources, Recreation, and Development Committee's unanimous 'Inexpedient to Legislate' (ITL) recommendation for HB 448.  This bill will not cross over to the Senate - it has been killed!

On March 8, the House Resources, Recreation and Development committee unanimously voted (18 Yea, 0 No) to recommend HB 448 'Inexpedient to Legislate' (ITL). Due to the committee's consensus, the ITL recommendation will be placed on the Consent Agenda for voting at the next session of the full House of Representatives. 

If passed, HB448 would have raised the daytime speed limit in the Broads area (widest part) of  lake Winnipesaukee from 45 to 65 mph.  Passage of this bill could set a dangerous precedent regarding limits on other NH Lakes, so you may want to weigh in on this bill. 

Page updated April 4, 2023

To voice your opinion

contact your state legislators

Spofford Lake Association

PO Box 177
Spofford, NH 03462

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