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August 2021: An e-Bulletin For Municipalities

Date: August 31, 2021

2021 Annual Drinking Water Construction Project Assistance Program Update

Reminder to community water system owners, operators and managers that the deadline for the 2021 Annual Drinking Water Construction Projects Assistance Program is September 9. The annual program is focused on loan and/or grant funding assistance for drinking water system improvement projects. The 2021 Award Plan outlines the program eligibility and application requirements. Applications will be accepted through midnight on September 9; electronic submittal preferred through the online forms. For up-to-date information, subscribe for email alerts through the Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund website.

NH Solid Waste Operator Training and Certification – Late Fees Reinstated as of September 11

As of midnight on June 11, 2021, New Hampshire’s State of Emergency was lifted, which means Executive Order #29, which extended solid waste operator certification expiration dates and waived late fees, was also terminated. NHDES determined that the late fees authorized in statute for solid waste operator certification renewals would be reinstated after a 90-day grace period. This means that any operator who submits their renewal certification application late between now and September 10, 2021 will not have to pay the $25 late fee on top of their $50 renewal fee. Any late renewal application postmarked Sept 11 and after, will require a late fee. Please check the SWOT Webpage for updates to this as well as other Solid Waste Operator Training related information. For questions related to Solid Waste Operator Training & Certification, please contact Tara Mae Albert, SWOT Coordinator, at Tara.M.Albert@des.nh.gov or (603) 271-3713.  

NH Salt Symposium – Municipal Info

There will be a specific Municipal Track at the New Hampshire Salt Symposium on September 14, 2021 at Pats Peak Ski Area in Henniker. Once again, the event is a partnership with the Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA). The special session for municipalities to help shape the Green SnowPro Municipal Certification process needs your input now that enabling legislation has been passed to move forward bringing municipalities back into the program or into it for the first time. Come and lend your experience, expertise and voices to create the Municipal Green SnowPro Certification Program for New Hampshire! Registration available on the Snow and Ice Management Association’s website.

Registration Open: Electric Medium- & Heavy-Duty Vehicle/Technology Virtual Expo – September 16 & 30

Granite State, Vermont and Maine Clean Cities Coalitions are hosting two webinars highlighting medium- and heavy-duty (MHD) electric municipal & commercial vehicle/technology. This MHD Electric Vehicle/Technology Expo will take place on Thursdays, September 16 & 30, from 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM ET. These are geared for public and private fleet and business managers, public works directors, planning commissions, energy committees and other advocates and decision makers - learn what's available today and what's coming down the road. Each webinar will feature a different panel of MHD electric vehicle/technology manufacturers and providers. Visit GSCCC’s Events Calendar for more details and registration links. If you have questions, contact Jessica.Wilcox@des.nh.gov.

Watershed Assistance Section 319 Grant

NHDES' Watershed Assistance Section has released the 2022 Watershed Assistance Grants' Pre-proposal request for proposals (RFP) to support local initiatives to restore impaired waters or protect high quality waters through the implementation of watershed-based plans. These plans must have a clear water quality goal and include the nine, minimum elements (a) through (i) required by the U.S. EPA. Pre-proposals are due by 4 PM, September 17, 2021. For more information and to access the application form, visit the Watershed Assistance Grants webpage.

Water Quality Planning 604(b) Grant

Solicitation for regional planning commission projects that will use planning dollars to address nonpoint source (NPS) pollution or other water quality concerns. These grants are available to Regional Planning Commissions and/or the Connecticut River Joint Commissions for water quality planning purposes. The 2022 Request for Letter of Intent (LOI) is now available. An approximate total award amount of $64,000 is available. All LOIs are due by 4 PM on September 17, 2021. For more information and to access the application form, visit the Watershed Assistance Grants webpage.

Information Meeting - Cold River Protected Instream Flows

NHDES has completed a protected instream flow study on the Cold River. NHDES will hold an informational meeting to describe the Proposed Protected Instream Flow for the Cold River. The meeting will be held Monday, September 27, 2021 from 7 PM to 8:30 PM at the Alstead Town Hall. The study report, R-WD-21-09 Protected Instream Flow Study Report – Cold River, that is the subject of this meeting is the result of a two-year study by NHDES’ consultant, Gomez and Sullivan Engineers, and describes the amount of flow required in the river at various times of year to support human uses, fish, and other wildlife and plant species which depend on the river. Both NHDES and Gomez and Sullivan Engineers staff will be available to answer questions.

Do You Have a Closed Landfill in Your Municipality? Then This Applies to YOU!!!

There are over 400 closed landfills in New Hampshire that contain decades of waste with the potential to cause a variety of human health and environmental concerns. All of these landfills have a permit which requires ongoing maintenance and monitoring. In recent years, NHDES has noted that post-closure reports for some inactive landfills have either not been filed or have been missing important information. In the Spring of 2021, NHDES provided training sessions for both permittees and consultants to assist with the post-closure care of these landfills, to fill some of those gaps, and offer assistance to permittees to properly maintain said landfills. Following those training events, NHDES sent out a survey to all permittees of the closed landfills. The surveys are optional, however, the information would provide essential information to the Solid Waste Management Bureau. The deadline for these surveys is October 1, 2021. If you have any questions regarding the information, please contact the Solid Waste Management Bureau at solidwasteinfor@des.nh.gov or (603) 271-2925.

Water Works Operator Certification Exams

Drinking Water Operator Certification Examinations will be held on October 5, 2021, at NHDES, 29 Hazen Drive, Concord. Applications for the exam are due 30 days prior to the examination. There is also an option to take a computer-based exam for Grades I-IV at various locations throughout the state at any time. For more about Water Works Operator Certification, see the certification webpage.

2022 Local Source Water Protection Grant Applications Now Available

Local Source Water Protection Grant applications are available now and due November 1, 2021. Applicants can now be awarded up to $25,000 for projects protecting drinking water sources or up to $30,000 for projects that address climate change. For the Grant Application and Information Packet and more details, please visit the Drinking Water Source Protection Program webpage. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your grant project idea, feel free to contact Bess Morrison at bess.morrison@des.nh.gov or call (603) 271-2950.

Financial Assistance for Heating Oil Tank Replacements

NHDES is looking to increase awareness of the Safetank program among New Hampshire cities and towns. This nearly 20-year-old program provides eligible homeowners assistance of up to $2,250 for the replacement of an aboveground heating oil tank if they meet the definition of “low-income” as defined by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Page 5 of the Safetank application contains the current income eligibility requirements. The program also has funding to assist low-income homeowners with the removal of residential underground heating oil tanks. Please keep this program in mind for residents of your communities who may need the assistance. For more information please contact: Genevieve Al-Egaily at Genevieve.Al-Egaily@des.nh.gov or (603) 271-3577, or Erik Paddleford at Erik.Paddleford@des.nh.gov or (603) 271-3431.

2019-2020 NH Coastal Flood Risk Summary – Training Videos

The NHDES Coastal Program, in partnership with UNH Extension and NH Sea Grant, has released two short videos summarizing the 2019-2020 NH Coastal Flood Risk Summary. The first video summarizes key findings from the Part I: Science report, which provides an overview of best available science related to coastal flooding in New Hampshire and includes updated projections of sea-level rise, coastal storms, groundwater rise, extreme precipitation and freshwater flooding. The second video summarizes the Part II: Guidance for Using Scientific Projections report, which provides guiding principles and a seven-step process for incorporating the latest coastal flood risk projections into planning, regulatory, and site-specific projects and decisions. Both videos are available on the NHDES YouTube Channel and were funded, in part, by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act in conjunction with the NHDES Coastal Program.

Consider Necessary State Approvals During Building Permitting Process

Before issuing municipal or local building permits, please note that property owners must also ensure that they have the proper septic system permits in order to utilize their properties as intended. It is a common problem for buyers of properties to learn – after they’ve received all of the municipal approvals they need – that their property lacks applicable state approvals and their business plan is no longer achievable. One very common example is when food service establishments are purchased, with the new owner developing a business plan based on the existing number of seats. In order to get a food service license, the owner must have proof of an operationally approved septic system, as applicable, for the existing or proposed use. Many times it is at this point that the buyer realizes they can no longer go forward with their business plan. Approvals from other programs within NHDES including, but not limited to, Wetlands, Shoreland, Alteration of Terrain and Drinking Water, may also be necessary for existing uses or proposed development. It is therefore imperative that, before the issuance of any municipal or local building permits for new structures or the expansion of use of existing structures, the applicant submit verification that all applicable state permits and approvals have been obtained. For more information, see our Got Permits? poster, visit our Wetlands or Septic Systems webpages, or call (603) 271-2147 and ask to speak with someone within the applicable program.

New Dock Registration Rules

New Dock Registration rules have been adopted as interim rules with an effective date of June 15, 2021. The rules create a streamlined registration process for owners of legally existing docking structures in non-tidal waters. More detailed information about the adopted interim rules can be found in the following two fact sheets: New Voluntary Non-Tidal Docking Structures Registration Process (WB-28) and Permitting for Private, Non-Commercial Freshwater Docking Structures (WB-19). You can also watch a video explaining a new electronic submission process that was rolled out in conjunction with the new rules.


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