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Rulemaking and Enforcement

Legal and administrative support for all enforcement and rulemaking undertaken by NHDES.

Disclaimer: The official texts of all New Hampshire state agency certified administrative rules are maintained by the Office of Legislative Services, Administrative Rules office. NHDES maintains its own copies of certified rules in our Administrative Rules Library  for the convenience of interested persons. These copies may differ in appearance from the official texts of the rule, but are the same in substance. While NHDES has taken care to ensure the accuracy of these files, NHDES is not responsible for errors which may occur during the electronic downloading of files that alter the meaning or content of those files. NHDES also recognizes that errors can occur even when care is taken, and requests anyone who believes a posted rule or other document contains an error to contact the NHDES Legal Unit.

Rulemaking Process

NHDES regular administrative rules adopted in 2012 and beyond are valid for 10 years. Agencies are authorized under RSA 541-A to initiate a rulemaking to amend, repeal, or readopt a rule (with or without amendment) at any time. Also, RSA 541-A:14-a, I, now provides that rules that are proposed to be readopted, or readopted with amendment which otherwise would expire, will not expire for the duration of the rulemaking proceeding (through the effective date of the new rules) if the Rulemaking Notice and Initial Proposal are filed prior to the expiration date.

To see the NHDES Proposed and Recently Adopted Administrative Rules, choose either "Proposed" or "Adopted" from the "Type" dropdown menu in the Administrative Rules Library. Copies of proposed rules and rulemaking filing documents, including the rulemaking notice containing the information for a public comment period and public hearing, are posted in the Administrative Rules Library and in our Public Comment section. Under 2011 amendments to RSA 541-A, an agency may choose to prepare and seek public comment on a Draft Final Proposal prior to filing a Final Proposal for review by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR). If a Draft Final Proposal is prepared, it will be posted in the Administrative Rules Library. Final Proposed rules are posted once the rule has been filed for review by JLCAR.

The "Recently Adopted" rules have been adopted but not yet certified. Until the certified text is available, the adopted text is the official text of the rules. For rulemakings that amend only a portion of a set of existing rules, the amendments posted here must be read in conjunction with the remaining rules.

Environmental Councils and Boards

New Hampshire has four environmental councils and two environmental boards. Each council and board has its own enabling legislation and so is separate and distinct from each other council and board. The councils and boards are also separate and distinct from the NHDES. NHDES posts the recently adopted rules of the councils and boards on this website as a service to the councils and boards and as part of the administrative support NHDES is required by law to provide. Such inclusion on this website shall not be construed as indicating that NHDES has any control over the content of the rules.