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For more information on the hearings that have taken place on the CSPA in Concord, click on the links below:

House RR&D Committee Hearing on April 12, 2011

Senate Hearing on SB 154, February 17, 2011

Senate EEE&D Committee Hearing on HB 1462, April 22, 2010

House RR&D Committee Hearing on HB 1462, January 20, 2010

Committee Hearings
April 22, 2009

Senate EEE&D
Committee Hearings
February 19, 2009

Dec. 18, 2008

DES Hearing
Nov. 14, 2008


The Latest Developments

Latest 2011 Activity

July 2011: The amendments to the CSPA that were included in Senate Bill 154 were incorporated into the fiscal budget bill HB 2, adopted by both the New Hampshire Senate and House, and allowed to become law by the Governor without his signature. These amendments, including a change in the name of the law to the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act, were supported by us and most of the constituencies affected by the Act, and transforms the Act into one that should be supported by all property owners.

Early 2011 Activity

Various bills for amending and even repealing the CSPA were proposed by the new Republican-led New Hampshire legislature. Our Coalition supported SB 154, which contains most of the amendments we have proposed in previous years that were never adopted. A hearing on this bill took place in Concord on February 17, 2011, and, as usual, we were there. The testimony of Paul Montrone is here. Others testified, including Peter Rice of the New Hampshire Shoreline Guardians (http://www.nhshorelineguardians.com), and Paul Goodwin of the New Hampshire Shorefront Association. Various additional amendments were proposed, and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee established a sub-committee to consider these additional amendments. We worked with the DES and other relevant parties, including the Lakes Association and New Hampshire Home Builders and Remodelers Association to reconcile everyone's views.

We were also present and testified at the public hearing held by the NH House Committee on Resources, Recreation and Development on April  12. For our testimony, click here.

We also attended, on April 19th,  the hearing of the Subcommittee of the House Committee on Resources, Recreation and Development that worked out some changes to HB 154 details, which we supported. There was no opportunity for public testimony at this hearing.

2010 Activity

In 2010, Representative Nancy Stiles and four other sponsors introduced House Bill 1462 to establish a Shoreland Advisory Council. The primary focus of this Council is to receive residential shorefront owner input and perspective relating to the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act and the regulation of shoreline structures under RSA 482-A.

The House Resources, Recreation & Development Committee held a public hearing January 20th, 2010 in which several people from our Coalition and other shoreland organizations testified. You can read our Testimony in support of HB 1462 with several proposed amendments by clicking House RR&D Committee Hearing on HB 1462, January 20, 2010.

This Bill went to a sub-committee, which recommended that the Council become a more simplified Ad Hoc Committee, and one that bore little resemblance to the original Council proposed. The amended HB 1462 passed the NH House and moved on to the Senate Energy, Environment & Economic Development Committee. You can read our Testimony before this Senate committee, in support of HB 1462, by clicking Senate EEE&D Committee Hearing on HB 1462, April 22, 2010.

Upon review, the Senate took a different approach than the House had and reverted back to much of the originally proposed language. This version of the Bill passed and Governor Lynch signed HB 1462 into law, formally establishing a Shoreland Advisory Committee for the Comprehensive Shoreline Protection Act (CSPA) in July 2010.

The final version reads as follows:

"483-B:21 Shoreland Advisory Committee. There is established a shoreland advisory committee. All members shall be New Hampshire residents representing diverse geographic areas of the state. The primary focus of this committee is to address residential shorefront owner input and perspective relating to shoreland development regulated under the comprehensive shoreland protection act under this chapter and the regulation of shoreline structures under RSA 482-A."

Additional specifics of this Bill, including who can be appointed by the Governor, can be found here.

The NH Shoreline Coalition worked with the Governor's office and DES on the Committee appointments.

Regarding the DES Administrative Rules pertaining to Permit by Notification: they were supposed to be issued in 2010. They were never forthcoming. These changes, however, were incorporated into the CSPA amendments adopted in 2011.

What Happened In Previous Years?

2008 Activity

The CSPA became law in July 2008. The New Hampshire Shoreline Coalition was established around that time, and began requesting changes to the law and its Administrative Rules. The DES released new proposed amendments to its Administrative Rules (Env-Wq-1400) in September, 2008.  These changes were aimed at clarifying some items and correcting some of the problems with the existing rules, many of which were highlighted by our Coalition. 

We compliment the DES for their receptivity and cooperation. However, although it was a sign of progress, there were still numerous problems. On November 14th, 2008, our Coalition responded with detailed comments and proposed changes during the DES’ public comment period, which ended on November 21st (our comments are shown here). Following the comment period, the DES revised Env-Wq 1400 and submitted a final version of Proposed Administrative Rules to The Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR) on December 4th. 

During the JLCAR hearing on December 18th, 2008, the DES' proposed Administrative Rules were reviewed. At this hearing, six people testified, four of which were our Coalition members, and we were the only shoreline owners testifying -- the others were businesspeople whose industries were affected by the CSPA.

Although the JLCAR approved the new rules, it urged the DES to work with our Coalition and others to make further improvements - which are definitely needed. Subsequently, the DES has invited us to join the PBN Shoreland Workgroup to help further revise the Rules.

Unfortunately due to bureaucratic delays, a complete assembly of the revised rules Env-Wq-1400 are not yet available, so if you wish to find out what the current CSPA administrative rules are, you must look at the full set of rules and the revisions to some portions of these rules.

2009 Activity

The Legislature resumed sessions in January 2009 and we provided Senator Martha Fuller Clark and Representative Judith Spang, the key committee heads for the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act (CSPA), with a detailed list of our proposed amendments to the existing law.  They are extensive, but in no way affect the water quality of the public waters of New Hampshire – in fact, they improve water quality. They would also serve to protect and preserve the rights of private property owners on the shoreland.

On February 19th, 2009, we were once again in Concord testifying at the public hearing of the Senate Energy, Environment & Economic Development Committee as it considered amendments to the CSPA. We had seven members testifying out of twenty-two, and once again we were the only shoreline owners to testify.  Chairman Martha Fuller Clark indicated that she would like to convene a group, including us, to review our 27 pages of amendments. For more information on this hearing, click SEED Committee Hearings, February 19, 2009.

On March 23rd, 2009, we participated in the first meeting of the DES relative to additional revisions to the Administrative Rules. This meeting addressed rules that are being drafted pertaining to Permit By Notice requests, that is, activities that will be permitted with a simplified notice to the DES. The DES was receptive to our comments on their draft and will issue a revised version for additional review in the near future.

On April 22nd, the House Resources, Recreation & Development Committee held a hearing on the proposed SB 134 which amends the CSPA. Three of our Coalition members testified and we once again submitted proposed amendments to the Act. We also suggested to the Committee Chair, Representative Judith Spang, that the Bill include the formation of an Oversight Commission to monitor the effects of the CSPA and propose any additional amendments that may be appropriate.

On May 19th, the Bill was reviewed again and passed with further amendments in the House Resources, Recreation & Development Committee and the Ways & Means Committee. On June 3rd, SB 134 passed the House (See final version of SB134). Having dual support from the legislature, SB 134, which makes positive changes to the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act, was signed into law by the Governor on July 15, 2009.

SB 134 includes some of our proposed amendments, but there are a number of others that we still consider essential, including our proposed Oversight Commission. So we are now in the process of proposing additional amendments to the CSPA and, once again, plan to include a proposal to create a Commission to oversee the Act.

Members of the Shoreline Coalition and other groups have met with the DES throughout 2009 to help improve the DES Administrative Rules, and to give inputs to the DES on their new Permit By Notification Rules (PBN), as well as specify circumstances where no permit is required. The PBN Rules have gone through several drafts and the DES plans to obtain JLCAR approval of these rules in early 2010. Other rule changes will be proposed after the PBN are finally approved.

Please join and support our efforts (click here to become a member). For more information on the hearings that have taken place on the CSPA in Concord, click on the links provided in the sidebar.


New Hampshire Shoreline Guardians

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Live Free or Die Alliance

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News Releases
The Live Free or Die Alliance has featured
the CSPA issue.
Learn more, discuss the issue, and engage others.

Shoreowners say
NH Law All Wet
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April 23, 2009
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March 2, 2009

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Shoreland Rules
February 20, 2009

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up Owners
Union Leader
February 20, 2009