Bill Text: NH HB682 | 2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Establishing a water resources fund in the department of environmental services and charging certain application and permit fees.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-05-15 - Pending Motion OT3rdg; 05/15/2019; Senate Journal 16 [HB682 Detail]

Download: New_Hampshire-2019-HB682-Amended.html

HB 682-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

4Apr2019... 1287h

2019 SESSION

19-0783

08/06

 

HOUSE BILL 682-FN

 

AN ACT establishing a water resources fund in the department of environmental services and charging certain application and permit fees.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Spang, Straf. 6; Sen. D'Allesandro, Dist 20; Sen. Watters, Dist 4

 

COMMITTEE: Resources, Recreation and Development

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill:

 

I.  Renames the wetlands and shoreland review fund as the water resources fund.

 

II.  Clarifies that certain application and permit fees are non-refundable.

 

III.  Repeals the terrain alteration fund.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

4Apr2019... 1287h 19-0783

08/06

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT establishing a water resources fund in the department of environmental services and charging certain application and permit fees.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Fill and Dredge in Wetlands; Excavating and Dredging Permits.  Amend RSA 482-A:3, I(b) and (c) as follows:

(b)  The application fee for shoreline structure projects shall be [$200] $400 plus an amount based on the area of dredge, fill, or dock surface area proposed, or a combination thereof, which shall be [$2] $4 per square foot for permanent dock surface area; [$1] $2 per square foot for seasonal dock surface area; and [$.20] $.40 per square foot for dredge or fill surface area or both.  For projects involving only the repair, reconstruction, or reconfiguration of an existing docking structure, the application fee shall be [$200] $400.

(c)  The application fee shall be [$200] $400 for minimum impact dredge and fill projects [under this chapter] and for non-enforcement related publicly funded and supervised restoration projects as defined by rules, regardless of impact classification, if undertaken by other than the person or persons responsible for causing the restoration to be needed.  The application fee for all projects under this chapter which are not covered by subparagraph (b) or (c) or paragraphs IV-a, V, X through XII, XV, XVI, or XVII through XIX shall be [$.20] $.40 per square foot of proposed impact, with a minimum fee of [$200] $400 for all such projects that impact fewer than [1,000] 600 square feet.  

2  Fill and Dredge in Wetlands; Excavating and Dredging Permits; Use of Fees.  Amend RSA 482-A:3, III to read as follows:

III.  The filing fees collected pursuant to paragraphs I, V(c), XI(h), XII(c), and X are continually appropriated to and shall be expended by the department for paying per diem and expenses of the public members of the council, hiring additional staff, reviewing applications and activities relative to [the] wetlands [of the state] under RSA 482-A, [and] protected shorelands under RSA 483-B, alteration of terrain under RSA 485-A:17, conducting field investigations, and holding public hearings.  Such fees and any monetary grants, gifts, donations, or interest generated by these funds shall be deposited with and held by the treasurer in a nonlapsing fund identified as the [wetlands and shorelands review] water resources fund.

3  Fill and Dredge in Wetlands; Excavating and Dredging Permits; Certain Fees.  Amend RSA 482-A:3, X(a) to read as follows:

(a)  The maximum cash application fee for the New Hampshire department of transportation shall be [$10,000] $30,000 per application plus provisions for technical or consulting services or a combination of such services as necessary to meet the needs of the department.  The department may enter into a memorandum of agreement with the New Hampshire department of transportation to accept equivalent technical or consulting services or a combination of such services in lieu of a portion of their standard application fees.

4  Fill and Dredge in Wetlands; Excavating and Dredging Permits; Review of Applications.  Amend RSA 482-A:3, XIV(b)(1) to read as follows:

(1)  The time limits prescribed by this paragraph shall supersede any time limits provided in any other provision of law.  The time limits prescribed by this paragraph shall not apply to applications submitted by the department of transportation, for which time limits shall be set by a memorandum of agreement between the commissioner of the department of environmental services and the commissioner of the department of transportation.  If the department fails to act within the applicable time frame established in subparagraphs (a)(3), (a)(4), and (a)(5), the applicant may ask the department to issue the permit by submitting a written request.  If the applicant has previously agreed to accept communications from the department by electronic means, a request submitted electronically by the applicant shall constitute a written request.

5  Fill and Dredge in Wetlands; Excavating and Dredging Permits; Review of Applications.  Amend RSA 482-A:3, XIV(e) to read as follows:

(e)  Any request for an amendment to an application or permit shall be submitted to the department on the appropriate amendment form. Any request for a significant amendment to a pending application or an existing permit which changes the footprint of the permitted fill or dredge area shall be deemed a new application subject to the provisions of RSA 482-A:3, I and the time limits prescribed by this paragraph.  "Significant amendment" means an amendment which changes the proposed or previously approved acreage of the permitted fill or dredge area by 20 percent or more, [relocates the proposed footprint of the permitted fill or dredge area,] includes a prime wetland, or [surface waters of the state, includes a wetland of a different classification as classified by the department, or includes non-wetland areas requiring permits for filling and dredging] elevates the project’s impact classification.  This meaning of "significant amendment" shall not apply to an application amendment that is in response to a request from the department.

6  Fill and Dredge in Wetlands; Excavating and Dredging Permits; Permit Duration and Extensions.  Amend RSA 482-A:3, XIV-a to read as follows:

XIV-a.(a)  With the exception of permits issued under subparagraph (b) or paragraph XIV-b, all permits issued pursuant to this chapter shall be valid for a period of 5 years.  Requests for extensions of such permits may be made to the department by submitting the information required in rules adopted by the department.  The department shall grant one extension of up to 5 additional years, provided the applicant demonstrates all of the following:

(1)  The permit for which extension is sought has not been revoked or suspended without reinstatement.

(2)  Extension would not violate a condition of law or rule other than that established in this paragraph relative to permit duration.

(3)  The project is proceeding towards completion in accordance with plans and other documentation referenced by the permit.

(4)  The applicant proposes reasonable mitigation measures to protect the public waters of the state from deterioration during the period of extension.

(b)  Any permit issued to repair or replace shoreline structures to maintain the integrity and safety of such structures including, but not limited to docks, sea walls, breakwaters, riprap, access ramps and stairs, that are damaged by storms or ice, shall expire 10 years from the date the permit was issued as long as any work performed after the initial permitted work complies with the following:

(1)  The work is not in violation of the original permit or subparagraphs (a)(1)-(4).

(2)  All structures are repaired or replaced to the original permitted location and configuration.

(3)  All significant work is reported to the department in accordance with the reporting requirements for the original permit.

(c)  After review, if the department determines that a request to extend a permit for a major project in public waters meets the stated criteria, the department shall submit the request to the governor and executive council with a recommendation that the request be approved.  The department shall issue decisions on all other extension requests.

7  Fill and Dredge in Wetlands; Excavating and Dredging Permits; Utilities.  Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 482-A:3, XV(b):

(b)  [Appropriate] The utility provider shall provide an annual notice to the department, which shall include the following information:

8  Fill and Dredge in Wetlands; Excavating and Dredging Permits; Utilities.  Amend RSA 482-A:3, XV(d) to read as follows:

(d)  A [one-time annual] non-refundable filing fee of [$200] $400 per town[, not to exceed a maximum of $10,000,] per year shall accompany the notice to the department.  Such fees shall be held in accordance with paragraph III.

9  Fill and Dredge in Wetlands; Excavating and Dredging Permits; Certified Culvert Maintainers.  Amend RSA 482-A:3, XVIII and XIX to read as follows:

XVIII.  The department shall develop [an installer's] a certification program for culvert maintainers, in accordance with paragraph XVII, and shall determine the educational requirements for certification, including continuing education requirements.  Professional engineers who are duly licensed by the New Hampshire board of professional engineers are exempt from the program requirements of this section.  All certified individuals who perform such work shall submit a quarterly report to the department fully identifying work that they performed during each quarter and documentation of continuing education requirements.

XIX.  The department shall issue [an installer's permit] a culvert maintainer certificate to any individual who submits an application provided by the department, and has satisfactorily completed the program in accordance with paragraphs XVII and XVIII.  [Permits] Initial certificates shall be [issued] valid through December 31 of the year following the year of issue.  Renewal certificates shall be valid from January 1 [and shall expire] through December 31 of every other year.  Permits shall be renewable upon proper application, and documentation of compliance with the continuing education requirement of paragraph XVIII.  The installer's permit may be suspended, revoked, or not renewed for just cause, including, but not limited to, the installation of culverts in violation of this chapter or the refusal by a permit holder to correct defective work.  The department shall not suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew a permit except for just cause until the permit holder has had an opportunity to be heard by the department.  An appeal from such decision to revoke, suspend, or not renew a permit may be taken pursuant to RSA 21-O:14.

10  Fill and Dredge in Wetlands; Excavating and Dredging Permits; Certified Application Preparer Program.  Amend RSA 482-A:3, XX(d) to read as follows:

(d)  The certification shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance and may be renewed every year.  The initial fee for certification shall be $200 and the fee for renewal shall be $50.  The department shall not issue a certification or a renewal certification if the required fee is not paid.  All fees shall be deposited into the [wetlands and shoreland review] water resources fund established in RSA 482-A:3, III.

11  Aquatic Resources Fund.  Amend RSA 482-A:29, II to read as follows:

II.  A separate, non-lapsing account shall be established within the fund into which all administrative assessments collected under RSA 482-A:30, III and RSA 482-A:30-a, II shall be placed.  Such account moneys shall [only] be used [to support up to 2 full-time positions] for administration of the fund, including staff, and aquatic resource mitigation related projects.  [No other fund moneys shall be used for state personnel costs.]

12  Shoreland Water Quality Protection; Permit Application Fees.  Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 483-B:5-b, VI:

VI.  All permits issued pursuant to this chapter shall be valid for a period of 5 years.  Requests for extensions of such permits may be made to the department by providing such information as is required by rules adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A.  The department shall grant one extension of up to 5 additional years, provided the applicant demonstrates all of the following:

13  Shoreland Water Quality Protection; Permit Application Fees.  Amend RSA 483-B:5-b, I(b) to read as follows:

(b)  The permit application fee shall be [$100] the base fee specified in this subparagraph plus an impact fee of [$.10] $.20 per square foot of area affected by the proposed activities and shall be deposited in the [wetlands and shorelands review] water resources fund established under RSA 482-A:3, III.  [Such fees shall be capped as follows:

(1)]  For projects that qualify for permit by notification under this paragraph or RSA 483-B:17, X, [$100], the base fee shall be $200 for restoration of water quality improvement projects, and [$250] the base fee shall be $400 for all other permit by notification projects.

[(2)  For projects of 0-9,999 square feet, that do not qualify for a permit by notification, $750.

(3)  For projects of 10,000-24,999 square feet, $1,875.

(4)  For projects of 25,000 square feet or more, $3,750.]

14  Shoreland Water Quality Protection; Other Required Permits and Approvals.  Amend RSA 483-B:6, II to read as follows:

II.  In applying for approvals and permits, pursuant to paragraph I, applicants shall demonstrate that the proposal meets or exceeds the development standards of this chapter.  The department shall develop minimum standards for information to be required on or with all applications under paragraph I.  The department or municipality shall grant, deny, or attach reasonable conditions to approvals or permits listed in subparagraphs I(a)-(f) and RSA 483-B:5-b, to protect the public waters or the public health, safety, or welfare.  Such conditions shall be related to the purposes of this chapter.

15  Terrain Alteration; Permit Application Fees.  Amend RSA 485-A:17, II to read as follows:

II.(a)  The department shall charge a fee for each review of plans, including project inspections, required under this section.  The plan review fee shall be based on the [extent of contiguous] total area to be disturbed.  Except for property subject to RSA 483-B:9, the fee for review of plans encompassing an area of at least 100,000 square feet but less than 200,000 square feet shall be [$1,250] $3,125.  For the [purposes of] property subject to RSA 483-B:9, the fee for review of plans encompassing an area of at least 50,000 square feet but less than 200,000 square feet shall be [$1,250] $3,125.  An additional fee of [$500] $1,250 shall be assessed for each additional area of up to 100,000 square feet to be disturbed.  No [permit] application shall be [issued] accepted by the department until the fee required by this paragraph is paid.  All fees required under this paragraph shall be paid when plans are submitted for review and shall be deposited in the [terrain alteration] water resources fund established in [paragraph II-a] RSA 482-A:3, III.

(b)  The department shall charge a non-refundable fee of $500 plus a $.10 per square foot fee for each request to amend a permit that requires plans to be reviewed.

16  Wetlands and Shorelands Review Fund Renamed.  Amend RSA 6:12, I(b)(131) to read as follows:

(131)  Moneys deposited in the [wetlands and shorelands review] water resources fund established under RSA 482-A:3, III.

17  Repeal.  The following are repealed.

I.  2008, 5:27, I, relative to repealing permit application fees.

II.  RSA 6:12, I(b)(256), relative to the terrain alteration fund.

III.  RSA 482-A:3, XV(e), relative to the additional fee for amendments to the notification for maintenance to existing utility services.

IV.  RSA 485-A:17, II-a, relative to the terrain alteration fund.

18  Effective Date.  

I.  Paragraph I of section 17 of this act shall take effect June 30, 2019.

II.  The remainder of this act shall take effect July 1, 2019.

 

LBAO

19-0783

1/16/19

 

HB 682-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT establishing a water resources fund in the department of environmental services and charging certain application and permit fees.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$2,986,679

$2,986,679

$2,986,679

$2,986,679

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [    ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - Fee Revenue

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill renames the wetlands and shorelands review funds as the water resources fund, clarifies that certain applications and permit fees are non-refundable, and repeals the terrain alteration fund.   The Department of Environmental Services indicates this bill would combine the wetlands and shorelands fund with the terrain alteration fee account to create the water resources fund.  The bill raises various fees for wetlands, alteration of terrain and shoreland programs to maintain sustainability based on forecasted expenditures for the three programs over the next four years.  The bill also adds fees for services for which there currently is no fee.  The Department averaged the volume of applications and frequency of uncharged services over the last four years and applied the new fee amounts in the bill.  Assuming the same level of activity, the Department compared the proposed fee structure to the existing fee structure.  

 

Proposed Fees

$4,852,356

Existing Fees

$1,865,677

Increase

$2,986,679

 

This bill would allow the Department to increase the terrain alteration fees through rulemaking not more often than biennially beginning July 1, 2022 if it is determined the fees are not adequate to cover the costs of the program.  If fees are changed as a result of this rulemaking authority, revenue in FY 2023 may be higher than the amount assumed above.

 

Assuming the program would be fully staffed, (all 31 positions filled) the Department's projected expenditures of $4,237,482 in FY 2020, $4,308,456 in FY 2021, $4,464,453 in FY 2022, and $4,682,443 in FY 2023.

 

Assuming the volume of applications will be consistent with historic numbers, the Department projected the program revenues and expenditures as follows:

 

 

FY 2020*

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

Proposed Fees

$4,367,120

$4,852,356

$4,852,356

$4,852,356

Projected Costs

$4,237,482

$4,308,456

$4,464,453

$4,582,443

Net

$129,638

$543,900

$387,903

$269,913

* FY 2020 revenue is 90% of the annual amount to allow time to implement fees.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Environmental Services

 

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