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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Where can I find information about pump out stations for boats?
    Go to the Clean Vessel Act Program, which deals with pump out and dump stations for waste from recreational boat holding tanks and emptying portable toilets.
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  • What do I do about storm water run off from my marina?
    It is important to note that a storm water discharge permit is a federal (not a state) permit. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues these permits. The first step a marina needs to do is determine if they are required to obtain a storm water discharge permit. The two reasons why a marina would need this permit are if:
    • The marina performs service/maintenance on boats (storage does not count); AND
    • Storm water flows from the marina property through a point source and discharges to a surface water.
    In addition, it is important to note that there are two major eligibility requirements that would prevent a permit from being issued:
    • If the storm water poses any threat to any endangered species; or
    • If the marina is located next to historical land (registered as a historic property).
    If it is determined that the marina is eligible for a storm water discharge permit, the next step is to choose one of the permit options. The options are:
    • Individual Permit
    • Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP).
    The MSGP permit is usually the easier permit to obtain of the two. The marina owner basically "signs up" to operate under it. The permit is reissued every five years.

    There are four main steps to sign up for coverage under the MSGP:

    • Determine eligibility
    • Prepare storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP)
    • Implement SWPPP (including BMPs)
    • File "notice of intent" (NOI).
    Once coverage is obtained, the marina owner needs to continue to perform the following responsibilities:
    • Implementing SWPPP
      • Use best management practices
      • Monitor storm water quality
      • Report water quality data
      • Inspect facility quarterly
      • Train employees
    • Allow authorities to inspect the marina
    • Comply with other permit conditions
    • Renew permit every five years
    Go to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Federal Storm Water Program (PHASE II) page to obtain more info about storm water run off and what to do about it.
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  • Where should marinas wash vehicles and boats?
    According to RSA 485-A:13, due to permitting requirements to ensure the quality of surface water, discharging vehicle wastewater to surface water is generally not an option. In order to prevent releasing waste water into ground water and surface water, the best setup is to wash vehicles and boats on an asphalt or concrete surface that is covered and drains to a sewer (with permission from local POTW). The asphalt and concrete are non-porous so wastewater will not get into the ground and the cover prevents rain from washing soaps and particulates into surface waters. Draining to a sewer is the most practical way to prevent wastewater from reaching surface water.

    Other options for discharge of vehicle wastewater include:

    • Operating a closed system with wastewater recycling (no discharge of wastewater).
    • Obtain a groundwater discharge permit.
    • Wash fewer than 30 vessels per week and discharge to a porous, ground surface.
    For more info about wastewater, go to Wastewater Discharges from Vehicle Washing Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbolfor details about different ways to deal with wastewater.
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  • What do I need to do if I have aboveground storage tanks? What is an SPCC and when do I need one?
    Aboveground storages tanks (ASTs) are containers that hold petroleum products. A facility is required to abide by Env-Wm 1402, "Control of Aboveground Petroleum Storage Facilities," if they:
    • Have a single AST system with a capacity greater than 660 gallons; or
    • Two or more ASTs that have a total storage capacity greater than 1,320 gallons.

    SPCC stands for "spill prevention control and countermeasure". The purpose of the SPCC plan is to develop procedures and methods to prevent the discharge of petroleum products from a facility (in this case a marina) into the navigable waters or adjoining shorelines. The major objective of the plan is to make sure that the facility has adequate secondary containment, such as berms and dikes around tanks.

    A facility, such as a marina, would be required to have a SPCC plan since they could reasonably be expected to discharge oil or fuel to a "navigable water way of the United States" or "adjoining shorelines," considering a possible worst-case scenario. Used oil or fuel drums (minimum size of 55-gallons) count as aboveground storage tanks, but only if the facility has more than 1,320 gallons of used or waste oil or fuel. For more information about AST’s, visit the aboveground storage tanks site.

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  • What are typical hazardous wastes at marinas?
    The most common hazardous wastes generated by marinas are:
    • Leftover paint
    • Cleaners such as spent degreasers and aqueous detergents
    • Used oil
    • Used antifreeze
    • Test tank water (if it's been tested as hazardous)
    • Bilge wastewater
    More information on the above topics are available at the New Hampshire Marina project web site.
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  • Is our facility a small or full quantity generator?
    If your facility generates less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month, you are considered a "small quantity generator" according to New Hampshire Hazardous Waste Rules. If your facility generates more than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month, you are a "full quantity generator." Visit One Stop to determine your current generator status.
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  • How can we reduce the amount of waste generated at our facility?
    • Separate your hazardous and solid wastes. This will eliminate excess volumes of hazardous material generated, by distinguishing those that can be discarded as solid waste.
    • Do not mix your waste oil and gasoline.
    • Do not mix your cloth wipes with your hazardous waste.
    • Keep used Speedi-Dri separate from hazardous wastes.
    • Train your employees on the proper process techniques to reduce needless spills.
    • Purchase only the amount of product needed.
    • Reuse test tank water.
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  • What are the differences between Universal and Hazardous Wastes?
    Universal wastes are wastes that meet the definition of hazardous waste in the NH Hazardous Waste Rules. They are generated by all segments of the population and, unfortunately, often improperly disposed of by the people who generate them. In an effort to make it easier and more cost effective to properly manage these wastes, the Universal Waste Rules exempts the wastes from the more burdensome Hazardous Waste Rules requirements, as long as they are managed to prevent release to the environment and properly recycled or disposed of.

    Links to information on specific New Hampshire universal wastes:



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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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