Wetlands re-definitions aim of Senate bill

A Senate committee will hold hearings Thursday on three bills aimed at clarifying the state’s wetlands and shoreline protection laws and making it a bit easier for the construction industry. One — Senate Bill 19 — would alter the definition of prime wetlands, limiting it to bodies of water of more than 5 acres. Another — SB 21 — would redefine wetlands to exclude man-made wetlands of less then 10 acres, unless creased as mitigation for other building projects. A third, SB 20, would exempt those who already received a wetlands alteration permit from getting some shoreline protection permits. “At this point, we are going to monitor” the legislation, said Mark Holden, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of New Hampshire and Vermont. “But it seems like it’s trying to make things reasonable and more appropriate for those trying to build.” The bills are sponsored by Sen. Bob Odell, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which will hold the hearings on Thursday in Room 102 of the Legislative Office Building. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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