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Selected energy and planning legislation from the second session (2012) of the 162nd General Court.

Energy | Planning

Energy

HB0648 - relative to eminent domain by public utilities and establishing a commission to investigate the procedural rights of the landowner when a petition is presented to the public utilities commission by a utility seeking eminent domain, develop a framework for the state to provide use rights to transmission developers on state owned rights-of-way, develop policies to encourage burying such lines where practicable, and establish a structure for payment
Chapter Law 2
I. Section 1-5 Effective 05/04/2012
II. Section 8 Effective 11/01/2012
III. Remainder Effective 03/05/2012

HB1144 - relative to establishing a commission to study the taxation of alternative fuel and electric-powered motor vehicles for the purpose of funding improvements to the state's highways and bridges
Chapter Law 86
Effective Date: May 29, 2012

This bill creates a commission to study taxation of alternative fuel and electric-powered motor vehicles "for the purpose of ensuring that all motor vehicles contribute to funding improvements to the state's highways and bridges." The commission is to submit an interim report of its findings and recommendations for legislation by November 1, 2012, and a final report by November 1, 2013.

HB 1296 - relative to net energy metering
Chapter Law 59
Effective Date: July 13, 2012

HB1477 - relative to the definition of spent material
Chapter Law 83
Effective Date: July 22, 2012

HB1487 - relative to low carbon fuel standards programs
Chapter Law 280
Effective Date: June 21, 2012

HB1490 - relative to New Hampshire's regional greenhouse gas initiative cap and trade program for controlling carbon dioxide emissions
Chapter Law 281
Effective Date: I. Sections 1-10 and 16-17 shall take effect January 1, 2013.
II. Remainder shall take effect as provided in section 17.

SB218 - relative to electric renewable portfolio standards
Chapter Law 272
Effective Date: June 19, 2012

SB252 - relative to increasing the maximum term for energy performance contracts
Chapter Law 149
Effective Date: August 6, 2012

SB256 - relative to public utilities commission contracts with consultants
Chapter Law 131
Effective Date: June 5, 2012

SB266 - relative to prohibiting electric utilities from installing and maintaining smart meter gateway devices without the residential or business property owner's consent
Chapter Law 150
Effective Date: June 7, 2012

SB361 - relative to establishing a commission to study the feasibility of establishing energy infrastructure corridors within existing transportation rights of way and repealing a commission
Chapter Law 220
Effective Date: June 13, 2012.

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HB0137 - relative to the state fire code and the state building code
Chapter Law 0242
Effective Date: June 18, 2012

This bill makes numerous changes relative to the state building and fire codes. Among other things, the new law (1) incorporates the 2009 International Existing Building Code into the state building code; (2) provides that the "local enforcement agency" for the purpose of enforcing the state fire code is the local fire chief; (3) provides that whenever there is a conflict between the state building code and the state fire code, the code creating the greater degree of life safety will take precedence, and if the municipal officials cannot agree which code governs, the property owner may choose to comply with either code; (4) authorizes a municipality that has voted to enforce the state building code to contract with a third party for enforcement services in lieu of establishing the position of building inspector; and (5) revises the law governing local building code boards of appeal by authorizing them to decide appeals relative to application and interpretation of the fire code (in addition to the building code), limiting the grounds for appeal, and providing that the board has no authority to waive requirements of the state building code or fire code.

HB 1223 - relative to remedies under the right-to-know law
Chapter Law 206
Effective Date: January 1, 2013

This bill adds remedies for violations of the Right to Know Law. Under the new law, if a court finds that a public officer, employee, or other official has violated any provision of the law in bad faith, the court must impose a civil penalty of not less than $250 and not more than $2,000. The individual violator may also be required to reimburse the public body or agency that he or she represents for any attorney fees it has been ordered to pay as a result of the violation. The court may also require any person who violates the law to undergo appropriate remedial training at the person's own expense.

SB241 - relative to expiration and extension of terrain alteration permits and extending the report date for the commission to study water infrastructure sustainability funding.
Chapter Law 148
Effective Date: August 6, 2012

This bill provides that all terrain alteration permits issued by the Department of Environmental Services shall be valid for five years and authorizes an extension of the permit for an additional five years if the applicant meets certain criteria. In addition, the chapter provides an exception for a permit that is associated with ongoing excavation or mining; such a permit will not expire during the life of the project if the permit holder submits a written status update to the department every five years.

SB265 - relative to the definition of stormwater
Chapter Law 132
Effective Date: August 4, 2012

This bill amends RSA 149-I:6a,II to define stormwater as "surface runoff and drainage that is generated from precipitation and snowmelt, including any debris, chemicals, sediment, or other substances carried along with the water."

SB291 - relative to the use of currently allowed impact fees by municipalities and making an appropriation to establish a North Country fire training facility
Chapter Law 106
Effective Date: July 28, 2012

This bill provides that if a municipality has collected impact fees for improvements to municipal roads, it may spend those fees on state highways within the municipality "for improvement costs that are related to the capital needs created by the development." However, the municipality is not allowed to collect additional fees for improvements to state highways, or to adopt "new impact fees devoted to assessing impacts to state highways." The new law also requires every municipality with an impact fee ordinance to prepare an annual report listing all expenditures of impact fee revenue for the prior fiscal year, identifying the capital improvement projects for which the fees were assessed, and stating the dates upon which the fees were assessed and collected. The report must enable the public to track the payment, expenditure, and status of individually collected fees.

SB340 - relative to locations for junkyards
Chapter Law 108
Effective Date: July 28, 2012

This bill provides that if a municipality has not enacted a zoning ordinance, the governing body may adopt an ordinance establishing lesser setback requirements than those required under state law for junkyards and automotive recycling yards.

SB342 - relative to the inclusion of requirements for log structures in the state building code
Chapter Law 189
Effective Date: June 11, 2012


NH Office of Energy and Planning
Governor Hugh J. Gallen State Office Park
Johnson Hall, 3rd Floor  |  107 Pleasant Street  |  Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2155  |  fax: (603) 271-2615