The protection and wise management of the state of New Hampshire’s environment are the important goals of the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES). The department’s responsibilities range from ensuring high levels of water quality for water supplies, ecological balance, and recreational benefits, to regulating the emissions of air pollutants, to fostering the proper management of municipal and industrial waste, to managing water resources for future generations.
Formed in January 1987 by state statute RSA 21-O, DES was legislatively created through the consolidation and reorganization of four previously separate agencies: the Air Resources Agency, the Office of Waste Management,the Water Supply and Pollution Control Commission, and the Water Resources Board. Each of these groups is now represented within the department’s three divisions: Air Resources, Waste Management, and Water. Also, DES has units within the Office of the Commissioner whose roles are to coordinate such activities as agency-wide planning, enforcement, permitting, public information, laboratory services, geologic services, information resources,and financial and personnel management.
The three division directors, along with the two commissioners, form DES’s Senior Leadership Team which coordinates DES policy making and program implementation.
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