The objective of the Kingston project was to revise the town’s wetlands conservation district regulations and create new stormwater regulations. In October 2006 Stone Environmental and New Hampshire Soil Consulting (NHSC) submitted draft language to the Kingston Planning Board. The proposed stormwater regulations were consistent with state and federal stormwater requirements. The main areas covered in the proposed regulations were a prohibition against illicit discharges and illegal dumping to Kingston’s storm drainage system, erosion prevention and sediment control at construction sites, and post-construction (permanent) stormwater control. The proposed stormwater regulations were intended to replace an existing article in Kingston’s code on sediment and erosion control, and to expand the regulations to cover other aspects of stormwater control required under US EPA’s Phase II stormwater rules. The revised version of the wetlands conservation district regulations submitted by NHSC proposed heightening wetlands protection in some respects and defining appropriate buffer widths around wetlands based on wetland characteristics and the underlying zoning district. Stone and NHSC made presentations to the Planning Board on October 17 to explain the draft language and receive feedback. The Town of Kingston chose to work on revision of the wetlands conservation district regulations prior to addressing the larger and more complicated stormwater regulations. NHSC worked with the Kingston Planning Board to address their comments and concerns regarding the wetlands conservation district regulations. The revised regulations will be on the March 2008 warrant. Please see attached ordinance. In March 2007 Stone received the general comment from the Planning Board that the draft stormwater regulations Stone proposed were too complex for a small, rural community. Stone took pains to streamline and simplify the proposed regulations while still meeting the state and federal requirements. We started over, reviewing many model stormwater regulations from EPA, the Center for Watershed Protection, and other New Hampshire communities. In April 2007 we submitted new proposed regulations that 1) substantially revised but did not replace Kingston’s existing sedimentation/erosion control article; 2) placed the illicit discharge detection and elimination provisions in a new article; and 3) made minor revisions through several related articles in Kingston’s code for consistency. Unfortunately, the Planning Board also found Stone’s second submission to be too complex. They have now taken on the task of revising the draft regulations. The Planning Board has thanked us for our considerable efforts, and released us from further obligation. We would be pleased to see how the Planning Board modifies their regulations to meet Kingston’s federal and state stormwater requirements. Overlapping state and federal regulations result in an unfortunate level of complexity at the local level, especially with regards to construction phase stormwater controls. We would impress upon NHEP that there are likely many small communities in New Hampshire and nationally that have been designated as operators of municipal separate storm sewer systems, often based on proximity to larger communities, for whom the model stormwater regulations that exist are simply too complex and onerous for them to administer. The drafted ordinance is attached.
Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership
Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, Durham, NH
Stone Environmental, "Final Report Overview - Kingston" (2007). PREP Reports & Publications. 128.