Here are a few highlights:
- Newington resident Michelle Lozuaway has been appointed by the Board of Selectmen and joins the Commission.
- Allied Continental Development's proposed hotel adjacent to the Spaulding Turnpike/Exit 4 behind the gas station. The Conservation Commission is reviewing the project because the applicants have requested a permit to dredge and fill wetlands from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Wetlands Bureau. Under RSA 482-A:11, III & IV the Commission has the statutory authority to comment on projects and, if the department declines to adopt the Commission's recommendations, it must make detailed findings to support its decision. The package contains the Commission's comments to the NHDES, as well as a Drainage Study that the applicant's consultant, Eckman Engineering, provided in response to questions concerning stormwater management.
- There is also an excerpt of a report I prepared for the Conservation Commission a year ago when the Department of Transportation's Exit 4 project resulted in significant volumes of turbid stormwater being discharged to directly into Little Bay. This was included because stormwater runoff from the proposed hotel may ultimately end up discharging to the same culverts into Little Bay. The Commission has asked for clarification on this issue.
- Stormwater pollution is important because, according to the NHDES, stormwater runoff is the leading cause of non-attainment with water quality standards in the state of New Hampshire. Newington's zoning ordinances, however, do not regulate the discharge of stormwater pollution. One of my main goals as chairman of the Commission is to encourage the Town to develop reasonable regulations to address this source of pollution into Great Bay and the Piscataqua River.
- The package also contains an application to repair the retaining wall and boat launch area at Fox Point. The Town's consultant, Waterfront Engineers, LLC, has been retained by the Board of Selectmen will be presenting the proposal to the Commission. An excerpt of the application is contained in the package. Members of the public are welcome to attend and will have the opportunity to ask questions concerning the proposal.
- Boiling Springs. The Commission is looking into whether to purchase a conservation easement to protect this prime wetland. The package contains a letter to the PDA Chairman, Art Nickless, and Executive Director Richard Green regarding this matter.
The Commission meetings are open to the public and if there is an environmental or conservation issue that you feel the Town should address, please feel free to contact me or attend our meeting.