WATER MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION
NEW HAMPSHIRE RIVERS MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION PROGRAM
483:9-a Rural River Protection.
The following protection measures shall apply to a river or segment designated as a rural river:
I. No new dams shall be permitted, certified, constructed, operated or maintained in such river or segment. The repair of a structural failure of a dam which is in place at the time a river or segment is designated shall not be considered to be a new dam if such dam is repaired or reconstructed at the same location and with the same impoundment level within 6 years of the date of failure.
II. Notwithstanding paragraph I, the department may approve permits and certificates for the construction, operation, or maintenance of new hydroelectric power facilities at existing dams provided that:
(a) The operational mode of any proposed facility shall be run-of-the-river, with project outflow equal to project inflow on an instantaneous basis and the project does not significantly alter the natural flow characteristics of the river; and
(b) The proposed facility does not provide for diversion of the river above or below the existing dam for a significant distance; and
(c) The height of the impoundment is constant and is not raised above the maximum historic level of impoundment at that site; and
(d) The proposed facility provides adequate fish passage as determined by the fish and game department.
III. No interbasin transfers of water from a designated rural river or segment shall be permitted.
IV. No new channel alteration activities shall be permitted which interfere with or alter the natural flow characteristics of the river or segment or which adversely affect the resources for which the river or segment is designated. However, the commissioner may approve such channel alterations as may be necessary for the construction, repair, or maintenance of a project, including public water supply intake facilities in the river or river corridor. The department shall encourage the use of native vegetation to stabilize streambanks of designated rural rivers.
V. A protected instream flow shall be established by the commissioner for each designated rural river or segment and any upstream impoundment or diversion facility which may affect the natural flow characteristics or natural character of the designated river or segment pursuant to RSA 483:9-c.
VI. Water quality shall be restored to or maintained at least at the Class B level. Significant adverse impacts on water quality or other in-stream public uses shall not be permitted. The department shall review and consider adopted local river corridor management plans prior to issuing any permit under RSA 485-A:13, RSA 485-A:17, or RSA 482-A.
VII. Any new solid waste storage or treatment facility, as defined in RSA 149-M:4, IX shall be set back a minimum of 250 feet from the normal high water mark of a designated rural river or segment and shall be screened with a vegetative or other natural barrier to minimize visual impact, except:
(a) New solid waste landfills shall not be permitted within the corridor of a designated rural river or segment or less than 100 feet from the landward extent of the 500 year floodplain, whichever distance is greater, and shall be screened from the river with a vegetative or other natural barrier to minimize visual impact;
(b) New solid waste landfills may be permitted within the city of Rochester within the corridor of the segment defined in RSA 483:15, XIV(c), and if located in the river corridor shall be set back a minimum of 100 feet from the landward extent of the 500 year floodplain and shall be screened from the river with a vegetative or other natural barrier to minimize visual impact;
(c) Expansion of existing solid waste landfills shall not occur within the 500 year floodplain of a designated rural river or segment, and any expansion of such a landfill shall be set back a minimum of 100 feet from the landward extent of the 500 year floodplain and shall be screened from the river with a vegetative or other natural barrier to minimize visual impact;
(d) Any land application within the river corridor of septage, sludge, or solid waste, as defined in RSA 149-M:4, XXII, shall be set back a minimum of 250 feet from the normal high water mark and shall be immediately incorporated into the soil. The provisions of this subparagraph shall not apply to manure, lime, or wood ash when used for agricultural purposes and that follow established state or federal best management practices for the protection of water quality;
(e) An existing solid waste facility which is located within 250 feet of the normal high water mark of a designated rural river or segment may continue to operate under an existing permit provided it does not cause degradation to an area in excess of that area under permit at the time of designation; and
(f) The department may permit a resource recovery operation at an existing landfill located within 250 feet of the normal high water mark of a designated rural river or segment.
VIII. Any motorized watercraft operating within 150 feet of the shoreline of a designated rural river or segment shall travel at the slowest possible speed necessary to maintain steerage way, but at no time shall exceed 6 miles per hour.
Source. 1990, 233:11. 1991, 58:2; 338:3. 1996, 251:16, 17. 1998, 56:3. 2007, 308:2, eff. Sept. 11, 2007. 2016, 286:3, eff. Aug. 20, 2016; 287:21-23, eff. Aug. 20, 2016.