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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Innovative Permitting and Technical Assistance Initiative map In 2009, NHDES received funding under the EPA State Innovation Grant program to undertake the “Innovative Land Development Technical Assistance and Coordinated Permitting Initiative,” also called the “NHDES Innovative Permitting Initiative” or IPI. The Innovative Permitting Initiative focuses on land development activities and the permit programs under the NHDES Land Resources Management Program that typically apply to land development activities: Alteration of Terrain, Subsurface Systems and Subdivisions, Shoreland Protection and Wetlands.

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s State Innovation Grant (SIG) program provides financial support for state environmental agencies to develop and evaluate innovative approaches to working with regulated entities to improve environmental performance. The SIG program also supports the development of approaches to improve state agency operations and provide time and cost savings for regulated entities that exceed minimum standards or otherwise demonstrate better environmental performance.

Over the past two years, NHDES has conducted research, collected input, and involved numerous NHDES staff and outside representatives to understand existing permit processes and constraints, identify opportunities for improvement, and develop a proposed approach for the NHDES Innovative Permitting Initiative. Key components of the initiative include the following.

Guidelines on Best Practices for Minimum Impact Development
NHDES has articulated draft guidelines identifying best practices to achieve a superior environmental outcome for land development projects. These guidelines expand upon current requirements related to regulated activities (e.g. stormwater management) and address non-regulated activities (e.g., location choice, energy efficiency, water conservation) that greatly influence the overall environmental impact of a project.

Enhanced Pre-application Meeting Procedures
NHDES has defined options for enhancing our current pre-application meeting procedures. In providing an opportunity for a detailed review and discussion of conceptual (pre-engineering) site plans and available resource information, NHDES hopes to increase awareness and implementation of opportunities to reduce environmental impact as well as streamline future permit reviews.

Streamlined, Coordinated Permit Review and Technical Assistance
NHDES has examined existing permit procedures and identified streamlined permit review procedures to better coordinate permitting activities involving multiple programs.

NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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