June 2021 The Municipal EcoLink is a monthly e-bulletin designed to inform you of the latest environmental ideas, trends, grants, rules and more from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES). We respectfully request that the following is electronically distributed or otherwise made available to your municipal committees, councils and boards. Please feel free to post it on your municipal website as well. You may read past issues at The Municipal EcoLink.
Drought Update As the state is kicking off the summer with lower groundwater levels and surface water flows than during more recent droughts, water systems and municipalities should be preparing to message conservation and implement mandatory outdoor water use restrictions earlier than they have in previous years. More details related to implementing lawn watering restrictions on private well owners, as well as implementing a variety of outdoor restrictions on water customers may be found on the NHDES Drought Management webpage.
Low-Income Residential Drought Assistance Program (DAP) The Low-Income Residential Drought Assistance Program is a financial assistance program available to qualifying New Hampshire homeowners affected by drought to help restore reliable water to their homes. The program will continue to be available to New Hampshire’s low-income residents for the foreseeable future because of the ongoing drought conditions. For more information, see the Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund website.
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). A video will also be published before June 15 on the Wetlands Bureau website to explain a new electronic submission process that will be rolled out in conjunction with the new Dock Registration rules.
Save-the-Date: Medium- & Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicle/Tech/Equipment Virtual Expo & Event – July 22, 2021 Granite State, Vermont and Maine Clean Cities Coalitions are hosting the first in a virtual webinar series highlighting medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles, technology and equipment. This will be geared toward public and private fleet and business managers, public works directors, and other decision makers … see what’s on the road! If you’d like to be added to the invitation contact list, email Jessica Wilcox, GSCCC Coordinator: [email protected]. Registration link and agenda coming soon!
How Does the Expiration of NH’s State of Emergency Affect Your Transfer Station Employees? As of midnight on June 11, 2021, NH’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. See the bulleted points below for guidance on how your transfer station employees and other solid waste operators should proceed. ·
Who receives the 180 day Extension?: All operators whose SWOT certification expired between March 13, 2020 and June 11, 2021 will receive the additional 180-days (plus the statutory 90-day grace period) from their original expiration date to get their complete renewal application in to NHDES. ·
Who does NOT Receive 180 day Extension?: Any operator whose SWOT certification expires on June 12, 2021 or after will only have the statutorily authorized 90-day grace period to get their complete renewal application in to NHDES. ·
When are late fees re-instated?: There will be NO LATE fees accepted on any application postmarked as of September 10, 2021. After that date, the late fee goes back into effect. ·
How does this affect processed applicants?: All processed applicants who have already submitted their initial application shall register for and attend the next available Basic Training class or submit a signed statement the reason they cannot attend the class by July 20th. If neither of things are done, then they will need to resubmit an initial application. Instructions for Registering and Logging in to the Online SWOT Basic Training. Additionally, all Basic Training classes will be held online through at least October. Tara Mae Albert, the SWOT Coordinator, will be scheduling both online and in-person CPD workshops for the fall soon, please check the SWOT Webpage for updates. For questions related to Solid Waste Operator Training & Certification, please contact her at [email protected] or (603) 271-3713.
NH RSA 154:8-b Limiting Use of Class B Fluorine-Containing Firefighting Foams During the 2019 legislative season, the NH Legislature adopted Senate Bill 257 relative to PFAS in firefighting foam and firefighter protective clothing. NH RSA 154:8-b includes requirements designed to reduce environmental contamination and to reduce the risk of public health impacts for firefighters and New Hampshire citizens. NH RSA 154:8-b prohibits foams containing PFAS for use in testing or training on or after January 1, 2020. NH RSA 154:8-b also bans manufacturers of Class B foams containing PFAS from knowingly selling or distributing these foams in the State of New Hampshire unless otherwise specifically exempt. Refer to the jointly issued Technical Bulletin by the state Department of Safety and the Department of Environmental Services that includes Frequently Asked Questions. If Class B firefighting foam containing PFAS is discharged, NH RSA 154:8-b requires the municipality of the fire department that discharges Class B foam containing PFAS to notify NHDES within 48 hours of making the discharge. To report a discharge of Class B foams containing PFAS, contact Amy Doherty of the Waste Management Division, Hazardous Waste Remediation Bureau at (603) 271-6542 or [email protected].
Water System Leak Detection Grant Applications for the Community Water System Leak Detection grant are due by July 31, 2021. Those community water systems that are awarded the grant will receive a free acoustic leak detection survey by a professional consultant during the 2022 field season. These surveys are an important way of discovering leaks on a system’s water mains, service lines, hydrants, and valves. For more information see the NHDES Leak Detection Survey Grant webpage.
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 United States Environmental Protection Agency (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 | NH Department of Environmental Services 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, September 17, 2021. For more information and to access the application form, visit the Watershed Assistance Grants | NH Department of Environmental Services webpage. ____________________________________________________________________
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