About the Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund
Protecting, preserving and enhancing the drinking water and groundwater resources of New Hampshire.
In 2003, the State of New Hampshire went to trial against ExxonMobil Corp. as part of its 10-year lawsuit against refiners and suppliers of gasoline, seeking damages for the statewide methyl-tertiary butyl ether (MtBE) contamination of groundwater and drinking water sources. The State prevailed and won a $236 million jury verdict in the trial. During the appeals process, the New Hampshire Legislature created the New Hampshire Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund (DWGTF) to receive these funds under RSA 485-F effective March 31, 2016. In June 2016, after all appeals were exhausted, verdict proceeds plus interest were disbursed, and $277 million was deposited into the trust fund. The Drinking Water and Groundwater Advisory Commission was formed to consult with and advise the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) in the administration and management of the Trust Fund. The Advisory Commission consists of 19 members, including representatives of five state agencies, members of the House of Representatives and Senate, municipal officials, and members of the public. The Advisory Commission administers the DWGTF through the MtBE Remediation Bureau of NHDES.
The goal of the DWGTF is to provide for the protection, preservation and enhancement of the drinking water and groundwater resources of New Hampshire. The Advisory Commission, in coordination with NHDES, has developed several programs intended to support the availability of safe, clean and accessible drinking water for every citizen in New Hampshire. The DWGTF strategically awards grants, loans and matching funds on a competitive basis to projects that protect important water supply lands, create and improve drinking water infrastructure, and support private well viability. The Advisory Commission aims to select projects for awards that maximize the return on investments to support longevity of the fund and achieve its mission.
The DWGTF is the funding source to several programs and NHDES initiatives: