Innovative Permitting Initiative within the Department of Environmental Services
The New Hampshire Department of Environment Services (DES) is embarking on an exciting new agency initiative to improve our technical assistance and permitting programs to achieve superior environmental results, streamline our permitting procedures, and improve coordination with other agencies and municipalities. The initiative is titled "Innovative Land Development Technical Assistance and Coordinated Permitting Project." This project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under their State Innovations Grant program. DES was selected as one of three recipients nationwide under this program in 2008.
As part of this project, DES intends to establish voluntary guidelines for achieving a higher standard of environmental performance for land development activities, explore opportunities to enhance our pre-application meetings with potential permit applicants, and identify ways to better coordinate state and municipal project reviews and standards. It also seeks to develop new procedures to guide more coordinated and streamlined permitting activities, as well as improve technical assistance to encourage the adoption of best land development practices. DES will pilot the new policies and procedures by selecting a cross-section of different types of projects from across the state starting in late 2009.
DES hopes to work closely with developers, contractors, engineers, municipalities, environmental organizations, and others involved in land development activities during this project.During the course of the project there will be numerous opportunities for informal and formal input including focus groups on specific topics, public stakeholder meetings on draft materials, and opportunities to submit formal comments on proposed policies and procedures. Additional information on the project is available from the DES Web site (look for Innovative Permitting Initiative at www.des.nh.gov). If you would like to be included on a contact list for this project or have any questions, please contact Carolyn Russell, Senior Environment and Land Use Planner within the DES Office of the Commissioner at (603) 271-3010 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.