Preparing a Vision for Your
Developing a Marketing Plan
Developing a Proforma
Sources of Project Financing
Wetland Delineation & Summary Report
Environmental Site Assessments
Permit Acquisition Process
Project Delivery Systems
Governmental agencies at the federal, state and local levels
have created a network of approvals to insure that planning
goals are achieved, that the natural environment is protected,
to make sure that your construction drawings and specifications
have been carefully reviewed prior to any construction work
task being initiated, etc. Of particular importance in completing
any construction project is the timely acquisition of these
regulatory permits. This section describes some of the many
permits required by federal, state and local governmental entities.
It also contains some tips that may be helpful to shorten the
permit acquisition effort.
The purpose of this Permit Acquisition Process section is to
acquaint the reader with our state's permit system. We have
listed those permits and procedures that are most applicable
to the majority of the businesses and companies that are proposing
to develop or expand in the state. We have not provided a listing
of all of the permits that the state issues. We suggest that
you contact the State of New Hampshire Department of Environmental
Services for a comprehensive listing of state issued permits.
We also invite you to register with us to obtain an understanding
of the various strategies that we employ to assist our clients
in obtaining their permits in an efficient manner.
Related Federal Permits
Wetland areas are regulated by the Federal government through
Section 404 provisions of the Clean Water Act. In New Hampshire,
the alteration of wetland areas has been regulated since 1967.
The State of New Hampshire Wetlands Board has been given approval
by the US Army Corps of Engineers (COE) to administer projects,
under the New Hampshire Programmatic General Permit, impacting
three acres of wetlands or less. Wetland areas greater than three
acres must be reviewed by the COE. The federal government utilizes
a clearinghouse approach when dealing with wetland area related
permits. Permits approved by the COE are reviewed by the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and the Fish and Wildlife Service. Both
agencies can become involved should the situation warrant. In
fact the EPA has veto power over the COE. They also are responsible
for enforcing Section 404 regulations.
Wetlands are classified in accordance with the current version
of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Manual. A three-criteria
classification method is utilized. These include 1) the presence/absence
of hydric soils (poorly drained or very poorly drained soils),
2) hydrophytic plants (those that are adapted to life in saturated
soils), 3) and hydrology where saturation or inundation during
the growing season must be determined.
As part of your permit application you will need to demonstrate
that you have taken steps to avoid wetland area impacts to the
maximum degree that you can. The COE can issue two levels of
permits: 1) an individual permit which is issued for significant
impact projects; and 2) a general permit that can be issued
on a nationwide, regional or statewide basis. This later category
is for minor roadway crossings, utility crossings, etc.
The federal government governs flood plain management through
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Flood plains are
those areas where flood waters are expected to reach during a
100 year flood event. The 100 year flood event standard was developed
to estimate flood frequencies for use in flood plain mapping.
Mapping to show these flood plain areas is available from FEMA.
Construction within a flood plain is possible, however mitigation
to replace flood plain areas that have been filled is required.
Construction cannot occur within the floodway corridor.
of New Hampshire Permit System
The State of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
(DES) is responsible for the protection of the natural environment
and public health. The DES has formed a Public Information and
Permitting Unit (PIP) within the Office of the Commissioner. They
can provide you with further information concerning the various
permits required by a project. You may contact them at (603) 271-2957.
Their Unit assists both you and your engineer by assuming the
role of a facilitator.
The DES is currently being evaluated for reorganization. Results
of the reorganization process should be known within the next
several months. We welcome you to contact this site for up-to-date
information regarding this reorganization.
of New Hampshire Permits
The State of New Hampshire
Department of Environmental Services (DES) has published a "Guidebook
for Environmental Permits in New Hampshire" 1994 Edition.
This publication lists the various permits that are issued by
their department and provides detailed description of each.
- Land Development Projects
- Department of Environmental Services Permits
- Subdivision of Land
- Septic System Construction & Operation
- Wastewater Connection/Discharge Permit
- Minimum, Minor or Major Wetlands Permit
- Site Specific (Alteration of Terrain) Permit (for disturbances
greater than 100,000 square feet of terrain)
- Section 401 Water Quality Certificate (greater than 3
acres of wetland impact)
- Water System Design Plan Review
- Underground Storage Tank Facility Plan Review (non-residential)
- Underground Storage Tank Facility Permit-to-Operate (non-residential)
- Class AA Dams (Non-Hazard Potential) (usually associated
with storm water detention ponds, if required)
- Manufacturing, Industrial and/or larger Commercial Projects
- Department of Environmental Services Permits
- Many of the permits listed above will be required in addition
to some of those stated below:
- Industrial Pretreatment Discharge Plan Review
- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
- Groundwater Release Detection Permit
- Groundwater Discharge Permit
- Groundwater Discharge Permit by Rule
- Temporary Groundwater Discharge Permit
- Groundwater Management Permit
- Underground Injection Control Registration
- Holding Tank Registration for Non-domestic, Nonhazardous
- Air Emission Temporary Permit
- Air Emission Permit-to-Operate
- New Air Emission Source Review
- Class A Dam (Low Hazard Potential)
- Class B Dam (Significant Hazard Potential)
- Class C Dam (High Hazard Potential)
- Hydroelectric Dams (All Hazard Classifications)
- Water User Registration and Reporting
- Standard Permit for Solid Waste Management Facilities
- Limited Permit for New Solid Waste Management Facilities
- Hazardous Waste Standard Permit
- Hazardous Waste Transfer Facility Permit
- Hazardous Waste Permit-by-Rule
- Hazardous Waste Generator Registration
- Hazardous Waste Transporter Permit
The DES charges fees for reviewing permits. Current fee levels
can be obtained through our firm or through the DES themselves.
The State of New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT)
also has various approvals that may be needed. Typically new
project sites that access the state highway system require a
Driveway Permit. The Department is divided into district offices.
These permits are normally administered through the district
office that serves the geographic area in which your project
is located. The DOT also is involved in the review of any alterations
that are made to the state highway system. They may also have
input when traffic studies are conducted to evaluate the impact
your project may have on the area's roadways.
Each community in the state has regulations that govern the
planning and development of construction projects. In addition
to the Select Board or City Council, communities have various
boards that administer these regulations including a Zoning Board
of Adjustment, Planning Board and Conservation Commission. Several
communities have architectural Review Boards where architectural
style, landscaping and other aesthetic features are reviewed.
Each board has various prescribed formal procedures that include
pre-hearing meetings, plan submittal deadlines, formal public
hearings and other requirements to allow public participation.
Zoning Boards generally establish, review and approve any uses
for which a property may be utilized. Land in the community
is typically separated into land uses that include those designated
for Residential, Commercial, Institutional, Industrial and Agricultural.
A development can occur by Right, by Special Exception or be
Not Allowed depending upon it's classification and how it meets
conditions set forth under each designation. Since communities
often undergo change as they grow and prosper, rezoning of land
uses does occur. Changes to the zoning ordinance are made quite
frequently in many communities that have zoning.
Once a project has met with the Zoning Board and has obtained
zoning related approvals, the Planning Board approval process
begins. Oftentimes, the Planning Board invites the applicant
to meet informally with the board to introduce the board members
to the project and to allow them to provide input in an informal
basis. This is what is termed the pre-hearing meeting. Some
larger communities that have paid staff that support board activities
allow this introduction to be made to such staff. Some communities
retain a Professional Engineer to provide this service and to
review the applicant's engineering and architectural plans.
It is quite common that other community departments review
your project plans and specifications to provide their input.
Police, fire, water and sewer departments or commissions have
various technical requirements and approvals that are needed
to be obtained before the Planning Board can give their formal
approval to the project. In addition, the local Conservation
Commission administers their regulations which govern wetland
area impacts. These regulations vary from community to community.
Approval from this Commission is also required prior to Planning
Board approval being granted.
Once the engineering plans are completed the applicant is required
to submit the plans for review. This review period takes place
during the two weeks prior to a formal public hearing being
held which is called the "Preliminary Plan" hearing.
It is at this meeting that comments are shared with the applicant
and approval conditions are provided. This hearing may be continued
should specific issues still need to be resolved. Once all comments
have been adequately addressed and agreed upon by the Board
and upon the receipt of notification of all federal and state
approvals, then the Final Plan" approval can be given by
Most communities also administer a Building Permit through
their Building Code Enforcement Department. Such communities
typically use the BOCA Code. You should be aware that not all
communities use the same edition of this Code. The State's Fire
Marshall's Office also uses the BOCA Code. Once the building
has been found to meet the appropriate building code, they would
then issue an Occupancy Permit.
In addition to local improvements being needed to construct your
project, local private utilities also have regulations and conditions
upon which these utilities can be extended or provided to your
project. Such utilities can include electrical power, natural
gas, telephone and telecommunications, cable TV, etc. Planning
Boards typically want to see evidence of such private utility
approvals before granting their approval.
the Permit Acquisition Process
At PROVAN & LORBER, INC. we have developed a permit acquisition
procedure that has saved our clients tens of thousands of dollars
in obtaining approvals quickly and efficiently. We have long recognized
that the permit acquisition process "drives" the design.
Our staff is well versed in federal, state and local regulations
and is familiar with the requirements of municipal planning boards.
Most engineering firms simply submit their permit applications
upon completion of their design plans and take their chances
when agency personnel make their reviews. That strategy typically
extends the time it takes to obtain needed permits. We at
PROVAN & LORBER, INC. involve the review agencies early
in the process, negotiating permit requirements as the project
proceeds. By the time the plans and specifications are completed
and the formal permit application is submitted, the reviewers
have already had their input and can complete their review
in a much shorter time period. Our firm has worked very hard
at streamlining our permit acquisition process and has gained
a reputation for meeting this special need of our clients.
We invite you to contact us to learn more about the permit
acquisition techniques we employ on behalf of our clients.