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NH Hazardous Waste Generation By the Numbers

Published Thursday May 25, 2023

Author Hadley Barndollar, NH Bulletin


A DES database tracks 1,531 sites in New Hampshire contaminated by hazardous waste. (Dana Wormald | New Hampshire Bulletin)

The amount of hazardous waste generated during fiscal year 2022 in New Hampshire totaled more than 11.6 million pounds, according to an annual report from the Department of Environmental Services.

That amount was produced by 2,166 active hazardous waste generators in the state, ranging from very small businesses to major manufacturing facilities.

“Proper management of this waste is critical to the protection of human health and the environment in our state,” the report reads. “Improper management results in contamination of soil and groundwater, which poses risks of exposure to our citizens, especially through consumption of contaminated drinking water. Such events threaten our health, quality of life, and our economy.”

DES recently submitted to Gov. Chris Sununu and the Executive Council its yearly report on activities and finances of the Hazardous Waste Cleanup Fund for the state fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2022. 

Supported by fees on various hazardous waste related activities, cost recovery revenues, fines, and penalties, the Hazardous Waste Cleanup Fund is used for:

  • Investigation and cleanup of sites
  • Matching grants to municipalities and regional planning groups for household hazardous waste and used oil collection programs
  • DES Brownfields program
  • Hazardous waste generator training, certification, and self-certification programs
  • New Hampshire Pollution Prevention Program
  • Hazardous waste permitting, administrative, and enforcement costs. 

Hazardous waste is defined as waste that can be dangerous or potentially harmful to health or environment. Hazardous liquids, solids, gases, or sludges can be discarded commercial products or byproducts of manufacturing processes, for example. 

A DES database tracks 1,531 sites in New Hampshire contaminated by hazardous waste, the annual report said, 920 of which have been closed and 611 that are still active. There are currently 20 active National Priority List Superfund sites in New Hampshire

In fiscal year 2022, the Spill Response and Complaint Investigation Section at DES responded to nine complaints related to hazardous waste and two related incidents. 

Read the report here:

This story is courtesy of NH Bulletin under creative commons license. No changes have been made to the article. 

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