NH receives federal help to protect water resources

The NH Department of Environmental Services announced that New Hampshire, the fastest growing state in the Northeast, is one of three states selected to receive federal assistance to address challenges posed by growth with respect to protecting water resources. Assistance will come primarily in the form of technical expertise from four national organizations: The Trust for Public Land, the Smart Growth Leadership Institute, the Association of Drinking Water Administrators, and River Network...

CONCORD, NH, Dec. 20, 2007 -- The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services announced today that New Hampshire, the fastest growing state in the Northeast, is one of three states selected to receive federal assistance to address the challenges posed by growth with respect to protecting water resources. The assistance will come primarily in the form of technical expertise from four national organizations: The Trust for Public Land, the Smart Growth Leadership Institute, the Association of Drinking Water Administrators, and River Network. The expert assistance will be provided through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"New Hampshire's government leaders and conservation organizations understand the connection between land use and water resources and recognize the need to conserve critical lands and to manage the state's rapid growth in ways that will minimize impacts on water resources," noted Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Tom Burack. "This project is a great opportunity to take an in-depth look at how we can harness a number of legislative and agency planning efforts currently underway, such as the state water resources management planning process, to get our existing land and water programs -- everything from stormwater to land conservation to drinking water -- working together."

Recent work by the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning (OEP), including a Report to the Governor on Growth Management for the Council on Resources and Development, calls for land use planning with consideration of the state's natural and water resources, according to OEP Director Amy Ignatius. "This project will help the state come up with new and creative ideas to achieve both our growth management and resource protection goals," she added.

New Hampshire, Maine, and Ohio were chosen from among nineteen states through a competitive application process. Similar work with other states is expected to follow. New Hampshire's application was prepared by DES and OEP and supported by Governor John Lynch as well as legislative leaders, other state agencies, and statewide conservation groups. The project is expected to run from January through the fall of 2008.

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