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News

2018-07-12 - Hazard Mitigation Grants available - Letter of Intent due 8/3/18

On June 8, 2018, two major disasters for were declared for the State of New Hampshire: 1) DR4370 was declared due to Severe Storms and Flooding on March 2-8 for Rockingham County and, 2) DR4371 was declared due to a Severe Winter Storm and Snowstorm on March 13, 2018 for Carroll, Strafford, and Rockingham.

In addition to authorizing Public Assistance (PA) for the 4 counties, the declarations also implement the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) statewide, under Section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The purpose of the HMGP is to provide funding for the implementation of cost-effective measures that reduce or eliminate damage and risk from the effects of natural disasters.

New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) is requesting Letters of Intent (LOI) from Local governments, Private Non-Profit organizations and State agencies that intend on applying for HMGP funds. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to: property acquisitions, property elevations, localized flood risk reduction, and soil stabilization. Please reference the attached HMGP brochure for guidance. Once received, HSEM will be in touch to review the projects eligibility and potential for application submission.

If your organization plans on participating in this program, please complete the Letter of Intent on the HSEM Resource Center at https://apps.nh.gov/blogs/hsem/?page_id=1199 .

Letters of Intent must be received by August 3, 2018.

Additional information about HMGP is available here. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your HSEM Field Representative at (603) 223-3663.

2018-06-29 - Call for Transportation Projects

For the Regional Long Range Transportation Plan and the State Ten Year Plan

The RPC is updating the Long Range Transportation Plan project list in preparation for the next iteration of the State Ten Year Plan cycle that NH DOT is expected to begin this fall. These updates require community and transportation agency involvement to identify and prioritize local transportation issues and needs throughout the region. The MPO is asking that communities review the existing list of projects in the Long Range Transportation Plan to ensure that priorities from your community are included and indicate any transportation service or infrastructure problems that are not being addressed. This details of this process are found on the Project Solicitation and Selection page of the website.

[Transportation]

2018-06-28 - Updated Land Use Data Are Now Available for the RPC Region!


RPC has compiled historical land use data for communities in the RPC region for the years 1962, 1974, 1998, 2005, 2010, and 2015. Data for the year 2015 has been included in the updated data compilation. Each community’s data can be accessed via the community pages on the RPC website under “Relevant Documents”. Data for the overall RPC region is available on the RPC communities main page, accessed via the same link.

Land use data is derived from high-resolution image sources, which is used to create land use data layers for the region via the NH Land Use Mapping Standard. The resulting data consists of 14 categories of land use types, which have been quantified in acres per community per year, as noted.

For additional information on the mapping standard or the available land use information, please contact RPC personnel: Robert Pruyne rpruyne@rpc-nh.org or Christian Matthews cmatthews@rpc-nh.org.

[Land Use]

2018-06-27 - 2019 NHDES Local Source Water Protection Grant Applications Are Now Available! Due 11/1/18

Funding is available from the Department of Environmental Services to develop and implement programs to protect existing sources of public drinking water. The grants are available to water suppliers, municipalities, regional planning agencies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, conservation districts, and state agencies. Applicants can receive up to $20,000 for projects that protect drinking water sources, including watershed planning, delineation of protection areas, assessment of threats to water supply sources, “on the ground” implementation projects, and source security.


RPC has worked with several towns interested in source water protection grants and has successfully received grants from the last three grant rounds. Contact

Examples of projects include:

  • Seabrook Groundwater Reclassification - aimed to better protect groundwater drinking water supply areas that extended into neighboring towns.
  • Fremont Aquifer Protection Ordinance Update - aimed to update town land use regulations to better protect the town's extensive groundwater resources.
  • Source Water Protection Education (coming in early summer 2018!) - aimed to provide overview of drinking water supply status and prioritizes protection efforts for all 27 RPC communities.

Contact RPC if your community is interested in working on a source water protection project - we can help with grant writing and/or the project itself!


The application packet is now available online to provide sufficient lead time for applicants to work with stakeholders to determine what protections are necessary to address potential contamination threats, coordinate with working partners, and determine a budget. NHDES is happy to confer with potential applicants in advance of the development of an application.

Examples of projects: (a summary of past projects is posted to the website below)

  • Development and adoption of municipal groundwater protection regulations similar to NHDES models.
  • Security improvements such as fencing, gates, or cameras.
  • The creation and implementation of local source water protection plans.
  • Certain transactional costs associated with land conservation to protect drinking water sources.
  • Education and outreach campaigns.
  • Projects which prepare first responders to protect public water supplies.
  • The implementation of stormwater best management practices.
  • Completing state Groundwater Reclassification for community well(s)

For more information visit - https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/dwgb/dwspp/lswp_grants.htm

2018-06-20 - High Water Mark Initiative Launch Events – Rye, Hampton and Seabrook New Hampshire

High Water Mark signs have been installed to benchmark the 100-year coastal storm flood level and future projected sea levels at five locations. Launch events scheduled 6/27,6/28 and 6/29

Exeter, NH – The Rockingham Planning Commission, in collaboration with the towns of Rye, Hampton and Seabrook, Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) NH State Parks, and the NH Department of Environmental Services Coastal Program announce High Water Mark Initiative Launch Events in coastal New Hampshire. High Water Mark signs have been installed to benchmark the 100-year coastal storm flood level and future projected sea levels at five locations. Many parts of NH’s coast experience seasonal flooding today and even larger areas may be impacted more frequently as sea level rises.

Raising awareness about flooding is of interest to many municipal stakeholders. We invite elected officials and local decision makers charged with addressing such flooding to join us for these launch events!

Launch events will be held at the sign sites on the following dates and times:

Hampton – Thursday June 28, 2018, 11:00am at the Hampton Transfer Station front gate off Hardardt’s Way

Seabrook - Thursday June 28, 2018, 12:30pm at the town boat launch on River Street

Seabrook - Thursday June 28, 2018, 1:30pm at Brown’s Lobster Pound on Route 286

Rye - Friday June 29, 2018, 12:00pm at Wallis Road near the corner of Route 1A


CONTACT: Julie LaBranche, Senior Planner (603) 658-0522, Email: jlabranche@rpc-nh.org

Additional project information is available on the High Water Mark Initiative page.



What can you do to spread the word about flooding? Take a photo with a High Water Mark sign and post it to social media using the hashtag #highwatermarknh


This project was funded, in part, by NOAA's Office for Coastal Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act in conjunction with the NH Department of Environmental Services Coastal Program

[Environment]

2018-06-15 - EPA Hosting Drinking Water and PFAS Community Engagement Event in Exeter, 6/25-6/26

On Monday, June 25, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will kick off the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) community engagements in Exeter, New Hampshire with a two-day public event. This event allows EPA to hear directly from New England residents, communities, state, local, and tribal partners to take action on PFAS.

The New England Community Engagement event will consist of two sessions – a public listening session and PFAS working session – to hear from the public; provide tools to assist states, tribes, and local communities in addressing challenges with PFAS in the environment; and understand ways EPA can best support the work that's being done at the state, local and tribal level.

Information on the event:


EPA will host a Listening Session on June 25 from 4:30 pm-10:00 pm.
EPA will hold a Working Session on June 26 from 8:00 am-3:00 pm.
The event will be held at Exeter High School, 1 Blue Hawk Drive, Exeter, NH 03833


Both days will be open to the public and the press.

The public is invited to speak during the June 25 listening session. Those interested in speaking can sign up for a three-minute speaking slot at this link:www.epa.gov/pfas/forms/pfas-community-engagement-exeter-nh

If you are unable to attend the event or would like to submit additional information or comments, written statements can be submitted to the public docket at www.regulations.gov/ enter docket number: OW-2018-0270.

The full agenda will be made available in the upcoming days. Please check the EPA PFAS Community Engagement website: www.epa.gov/pfas/pfas-community-engagement-exeter-nh for further information leading up to the event.

[Environment]

2018-06-08 - Statewide Freight Summit & Open House - June 21, 2018

The Future of Freight Operations & Autonomous Trucking

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation is hosting a New Hampshire Freight Summit at the Newington Town Hall Auditorium (205 Nimble Hill Road, Newington) on June 21, 2018 from 12:30 - 3:30 PM that will include discussion with public and private sector professionals regarding the future of freight movement in New Hampshire and key issues affecting the state's freight networks. The summit will provide an overview of the New Hampshire Freight Plan, Insights on Freight Operations and Logistics from the private sector, as well as a discussion of the Economics of Autonomous Trucking. This will be followed by an Open House from 4:00-6:00 PM focused around the ongoing development of the State Freight Plan. The Statewide Freight Plan is a strategic planning document that will define a short and long-term, multi-modal, vision for the freight system in New Hampshire. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about and discuss freight issues and trends with industry experts and proved input on the Freight Plan development.

Follow the link to RSVP for the event: nhfreight2.eventbrite.com

[Transportation]

2018-05-24 - RPC Annual Meeting is 6/13 at 6:00 in Portsmouth

Rockingham Planning Commission will host its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 6:00 PM at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel in Portsmouth, NH The purpose of the meeting is to elect the Commission's officers, present awards, and provide an overview of the Commission's current work.

The meeting will feature a presentation by Access Navigators, who advocate for people with disabilities in all corners of the world and to help everyone with mobility challenges stay engaged in their community by knowing what to expect when they visit local restaurants and cultural attractions. The Access Navigators' team is led by Todd Hanson Anne Weidman. Todd is a prominent local architect who lives with a neuromuscular disease that requires him to use a wheelchair for mobility and an iPad for speech; Anne does assessments and writes reviews. The team members are colleagues at JSA Inc, a Portsmouth, NH-based architecture firm and advocate of accessible environments.


Please note that registration for the dinner portion of the evening is $35 per person, however, the meeting is open to the public. Registration for dinner is needed by June 6th.

For additional details or to register, please visit our Annual Meeting page.



2018-05-22 - RPC Welcomes Meredith Houghton, Planning Technician

Meredith Houghton joined RPC this May as a temporary Planning Technician for the transportation and water resources programs. As such, she will be primarily supporting the implementation of both the Road Surface Management System (RSMS) and Regional Stream Crossing Assessment (RSCA) projects, which contribute to the New Hampshire Statewide Asset Data Exchange System (SADES).

This summer, RPC’s RSMS program will be focused on the towns of Epping and Fremont. The RSMS program provides state agencies and the participating municipalities with information on the road system’s condition and estimates for future maintenance costs. The main objective of this effort is to identify distressed pavement manifestations, such as cracking or rutting, so that municipalities can better prioritize maintenance projects to maximize their return on investment and road quality. Meredith will be assisting the field team with road assessments and data collection, which will provide information pertinent to the planning and budget preparation for the participating towns’ long-term maintenance programs.

In addition to the RSMS program, Meredith will also be supporting the RSCA project, building on five years of prior data collection efforts by RPC within the region. The program is a statewide initiative that is a collaboration of multiple partners, including the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) and Transportation (NHDOT), Fish and Game Department and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM). The RSCA program aims to evaluate stream crossings to address flood risks and identify problem culverts which may present a hazard to public safety and/or may hinder passage to wildlife. As part of the field team, Meredith will be collecting georeferenced data to locate and assess existing crossings. This data will allow for the prioritization of stream crossing replacement projects within a town, watershed or region. This season, RPC will be performing these assessments primarily within the western areas of the RPC region.

Meredith brings prior experience in environmental remediation and compliance/permitting to RPC, and is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Urban and Environmental Planning at Tufts University. Her most recent professional work has focused on stormwater compliance projects, as well as an invasive aquatic species management contract within a drinking water reservoir in Massachusetts. As an aspiring Environmental Planner, Meredith is excited to build on her knowledge of water resource management and broaden her perspective in transportation planning at RPC.


Additional information on the RSMS and RSCA programs is available on the SADES and NHDES webpages.

[Environment][Press Releases][Transportation]

2018-05-18 - Liberty Utilities Hosting Granite Bridge Gas Pipeline Project in Epping on 5/23 from 5-8

Members of the public are invited to join Liberty Utilities and the Granite Bridge project team for an Open House at Josiah's Meetinghouse on May 23, 2018 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Attendees will be able to speak with team members and learn more about Granite Bridge, ask questions, and provide feedback on the project proposal.

Rockingham Planning Commission is posting permitting process information and resources on our Granite Bridge Pipeline Project page.

May 23, 2018

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Josiah's Meetinghouse

521 Calef Highway

Epping, NH

(Directions)

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