In 2003, the State of New Hampshire brought a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MtBE) because of the impact MtBE was having on the groundwater and drinking water of the State. All but one of the manufactures agreed to settle the lawsuit before it went to trial. The remaining defendant, Exxon-Mobil, chose to go to trial to oppose the lawsuit. The New Hampshire jury found Exxon-Mobil guilty and awarded the State $276 million for the damages caused to the State’s groundwater and drinking water. It is the money from that trial verdict plus accumulated interest that was used to establish the Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund.
The Trust Fund provides both grants and low interest loans to applicants. The repayment of the loans and investment income are other sources of income to the Fund.