Frequently Asked Questions

Which regulatory body has authority to oversee commercial excavation activity in New Hampshire pursuant to RSA 155-E?

The local Planning Board, in most cases, is the regulator of such activity.

Do I need an Alteration of Terrain Permit issued from the NH Department of Environmental Services before I can obtain an RSA 155-E Excavation Permit from the town?

If your site now exceeds, or will exceed an area larger than 100,000 square feet (2.3 acres), you will need to obtain the Site Specific Permit from the DES prior to being issued an excavation permit from the town. Information regarding the Site Specific Permit Application process can be found at NHDES Alteration of Terrain Permitting Information web site.

Is the NHDES Alteration of Terrain Permit Application (including Plan Sheets) required to be prepared and stamped by a Professional Engineer or Licensed Land Surveyor?

No, the State regulation (Env-Ws 415) is clear in stating that projects “involving only excavation activities” are exempt from having plans prepared and stamped by a licensed professional engineer. However, the plan sheets and associated application materials will be subjected to a technical review by a licensed professional engineer at the DES.

See the applicable State regulation, Env-Ws 415.08 (top of Page 6).

Surveyors are not likely to be familiar with the Alteration of Terrain Permit Application requirements nor the RSA 155-E Permit application process, therefore it only makes sense that they have no mandated role under either regulation.

Will the application materials submitted to the DES (Alteration of Terrain Permit Application) contain all the information required for the RSA 155-E permit application?

Unless the application has been prepared by an individual who is intimately familiar with both application requirements, the DES materials will need to be revised before they would meet the standard of a RSA 155-E application (see RSA 155-E:3). It makes sense to find an individual who can prepare one set of plans which will meet the requirements of both application schemes. Give One Source Properties & Permitting a call to discuss your needs.

What is the process for renewing an excavation permit under RSA 155-E?

RSA 155-E is silent with respect to permit renewals. Unfortunately, this slipped by the legislature when the law was enacted. For now, all permit holders will need to reapply to the regulator as if they were applying for the permit for the first time. This includes notice to abutters, full submittal of application materials, public hearing, etc.

Can I wait until the excavation site is fully depleted of material before I start the process of reclamation?

Under the reclamation & incremental reclamation standards of RSA 155-E (5 & 5-a), areas exceeding 5 acres which are depleted of commercial earth materials, or any excavation from which earth materials of sufficient weight or volume to be commercially useful have not be removed for a 2-year period, shall be reclaimed within 12 months following such depletion or 2-year non-use. This requirement does not apply to excavation sites of operating stationary manufacturing plants.

In addition, within 12 months after the expiration date in a permit issued under RSA 155-E, or of the completion of the excavation (whichever occurs first), the owner of the excavated land shall have completed the reclamation of the areas affected by the excavation.

Are owners of excavation sites required to post a reclamation bond?

All excavation sites are subject to the standard reclamation bonding requirement, pursuant to RSA 155-E:4-a VII.

If you have any questions, please contact us.