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New Hampshire has four independent environmental councils: the Air Resources Council, Waste Management Council, Water Council and Wetlands Council.

The councils are separate and distinct from each other and from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. The councils were established pursuant to RSA 21-O and serve the citizens and businesses of the State, regarding matters within their respective jurisdictions, by:

  • Providing consultation and advice to the Department regarding policies, programs, goals and operations, with an emphasis on long-range planning and educating the public relative to the functions of the Department.
  • Hearing and deciding administrative appeals from certain Department decisions (RSA 21-O:14 Administrative Appeals).
  • Reviewing and providing comment on rules proposed to be adopted by the Department.

Council members represent diverse stakeholders, including industry, municipal government, recreation, environmental/conservation and public health. Council members must be New Hampshire residents and are appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Executive Council for a term of four years.