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

Committee Hearings
April 22, 2009

Committee Hearings
February 19, 2009

Dec. 18, 2008

DES Hearing
Nov. 14, 2008


The Latest Developments

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, as well as specify circumstances where no permit is required. If any of our members have thoughts or suggestions on these rules, please email us with your ideas.

What Has Happened Over The Past Two 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.  See more   

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.

The improvements in DES Rules, however, do not correct the very fundamental problems with the CSPA. It will take legislative amendments to achieve this. 

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.

We continue to work with the DES personnel over the summer of 2009 on the PBN and other Administrative Rules. The PBN Rules have gone through several drafts and the DES plans to obtain JLCAR approval of these rules this fall. 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

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