Sunday, February 15, 2009

NH Alteration of Terrain Permit – High Load Areas

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) has recently finalized new rules requiring an Alteration of Terrain Permit (AOT) for many types of construction projects. The purpose of these rules to protect drinking water supplies, surface waters, and groundwater by specifying the procedures and criteria for obtaining permits required by the rule. These rules shall apply to any person proposing to:
(a) Dredge, excavate, place fill, mine, transport forest products, or undertake construction in or on the borders of surface waters; or
(b) Significantly alter the characteristics of the terrain in such a manner as to impede the natural runoff or create an unnatural runoff.

One key aspect of the rule is the definition and requirements for “High-Load Areas”. High-load areas include:
(1) Industrial facilities subject to the NPDES Multi-Sector General Permit;
(2) Petroleum storage facilities;
(3) Petroleum dispensing facilities;
(4) Vehicle fueling facilities;
(5) Vehicle service, maintenance and equipment cleaning facilities;
(6) Fleet storage areas;
(7) Public works storage areas;
(8) Road salt facilities;
(9) Commercial nurseries;
(10) Non-residential facilities having uncoated metal roofs with a slope flatter than 20%;
(11) Facilities with outdoor storage, loading, or unloading of hazardous substances, regardless of the primary use of the facility; and
(12) Facilities subject to chemical inventory under EPCRA Section 312.

A Source Control Plan may need to be prepared and submitted to NHDES for any proposed projects that include high-load areas and larger commercial parking areas.

The new rule also details requirements that apply to stormwater management practices from high-load areas, which include:

  • Prohibition on groundwater recharge;
  • Prohibition on infiltration practices;
  • Prohibition on stormwater filtering practices, without an impermeable liner; and
  • Prohibition on stormwater swale practices, without an impermeable liner.

Caltha LLP provides expert technical support to clients nationwide to develop cost effective pollution prevention programs to meet State and Federal requirements.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at
Caltha LLP Website

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