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News and Articles

BCM Sponsors NEWIEE NH Chapter’s Mentoring Circle

BCM Environmental & Land Law was pleased to be the networking and refreshment sponsor of the New England Women in Energy and the Environment (NEWIEE) NH Chapter’s Mentoring Circle which took place at Unitil’s offices in Hampton, NH on November 5, 2018.  This meeting was about “Tough Topics.”  Attendees worked in facilitated small groups to discuss the various “Tough Topics” that face women in the workplace on a daily basis – e.g. How to ask for a raise? How to work remotely and still grow your career? How to deal with inappropriate behavior in the work environment? And more!

 

 

Amy Manzelli Works to Protect Conservation Land from Vandalism in Acworth, NH

Amy Manzelli recently appeared before the Town of Acworth Board of Selectmen seeking their assistance in protecting a nearly 1,000-acre parcel of conservation land owned by the Raymond Roy Farm Trust.  Amy requested that the Town adopt a short-term management plan aimed at providing immediate protection from the various instances of vandalism that have been taking place on the property.  In the long term, Amy suggested that the parties work together to develop a realistic management plan that meets the intended goals of the original conservation easement.

Read more about Amy’s work on behalf of the Raymond Roy Farm Trust here.

 

Beth Boepple Appointed Board Chair of The Sustainability Lab

Elizabeth Boepple, Esq. recently agreed to take on the responsibilities of board chair for the non-profit The Sustainability Lab, new tenant and operating company for Fork Food Lab.  Fork Food Lab is a commercial kitchen space in Portland, Maine, available for business members to use on an hourly basis.  In essence, it’s an incubator space for food businesses.  Members are afforded access to kitchen equipment and supplies, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with fellow entrepreneurial foodies.  Click here to read more about this exciting new venture!

State Steps Up Enforcement of Hazardous Waste Violations by Hospitals

Amy Manzelli, Esq. authored an article that was published in the September 19, 2018 edition of the NH Bar News regarding the State of New Hampshire’s enforcement of hazardous waste violations by hospitals.  Amy’s practice with hospital clients has provided her with unique insight into how to properly manage the environmental issues that medical professionals face on a day-to-day basis.

Click here to read the full article.

Kelsey Peterson Tours Metal Fabrication Plant with NEWIEE

On May 9, Attorney Kelsey Peterson toured Metheun Construction’s new 190,000 sf metal fabrication facility in Plaistow, New Hampshire, with the New Hampshire Chapter of NEWIEE, New England Women in Energy & the Environment.

With more than 50 years’ experience, Metheun Construction, Inc., has earned its reputation for excellence by delivering comprehensive construction services and innovative solutions to its clients.

NEWIEE has a goal to foster a dynamic and enthusiastic environment for women all over New England and those who care about energy and environmental issues in order to encourage the development of creative solutions to energy and environmental issues.

Rights-of-Way 101

By: Jason D. Reimers, Esq.

Lately I have been getting a lot of calls and emails about right-of-way issues from past clients and new clients.  It is very common for a property to either benefit from or be subject to a right-of-way.  A right-of-way is a legal right of access or crossing over land owned by someone else.   A right-of-way is generally found in a recorded deed, but it can also be established, in certain circumstances, by usage.

Here is a common scenario involving two side-by-side properties, otherwise known as “abutting” properties.  Property A has a right-of-way over Property B.  The deed to Property A states that the property itself is being conveyed (i.e., sold or transferred) along with the right to pass over the land of Property B for ingress and egress (i.e., coming and going) to Property A.  The deed language might refer to the right-of-way as an easement over Property B.  The deed to Property B states that the property is “subject to” the right-of-way of Property A.  The right-of-way may have first been created when a larger property was subdivided, thereby creating Properties A and B, and, in order for the owners of Property A to access their property from a town road, they would need to cut through Property B.

Questions often arise about how the right-of-way may be used.  A right-of-way for the ingress and egress to a residential lot may generally be used for all uses ordinary to a residential use.  Assuming the right-of-way is the only, or at least the primary, access way to Property A, the owners of Property A may install utilities along the road.  This probably includes underground utilities, such as water pipes, and above-ground utilities such as poles carrying electric, telephone, and cable wires.  Also included in an ingress/egress residential right-of-way is the right to maintain the right-of-way, which may include paving the right-of-way if desired.

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NHDES’s New Wetlands Rules

By: Jason D. Reimers, Esq.

NHDES is the State of New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services.   NHDES regulates air pollution, alteration of terrain, waste management, drinking water, dams, shorelands, wetlands, and other environmental matters.  NHDES’s enforcement (or lack thereof) of New Hampshire’s environmental statutes and administrative rules is a perennial source of disagreement and frustration depending which side you are on in any particular matter.  I have clients who are seeking permits from NHDES, and I have clients who are opposed to permit applications that others have filed with NHDES.  I have clients who want NHDES to investigate apparent violations of statutes and rules, and I have clients who are the subjects of such investigations and allegations.

This article is focused on NHDES’s regulation of wetlands and, specifically, NHDES’s current efforts at overhauling its wetlands administrative rules.  In 1989, the New Hampshire legislature enacted a wetlands protection statute that has since been amended several times.  The wetlands protection statute is contained in our State law as RSA 482-A, which you can easily find by searching “RSA 482-A” online or by going directly to the NHDES website.  RSA 482-A requires NHDES to adopt administrative rules to flesh out the details of the statute.  Both the statute and the administrative rules are law.  NHDES is currently in the process of heavily revising the current version of the wetlands rules.

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How To Protect Your Land And Reduce Your Taxes

By: Jason D. Reimers, Esq.

A conservation easement deed is a contract by which a landowner conveys the development rights of the land to a land trust or government agency.  A conservation easement lasts forever and is a way to conserve open space, farmland, scenic views, and other natural resources.  After a conservation easement is conveyed to a land trust, for example, the landowner continues to own the land.

A conservation easement deed is a negotiated document, by which I mean that a landowner and land trust reach an agreement about what uses will be allowed and not allowed on the property.  More often than not, the landowner continues to use the land in much the same way as prior to the easement.  The conservation easement deed will almost always require that the easement holder (i.e., the land trust or government agency) regularly monitor the property to ensure that the terms of the easement are being followed and that no one, such as a neighbor who builds a shed over the property line, is violating the easement.

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BCM Sponsors 2018 Lakes Congress

BCM Environmental & Land Law was proud to sponsor the NH Lakes Association’s 2018 Lakes Congress, which took place on May 31st and June 1st.  This year marked the 25th anniversary of the annual education, training, and networking event.  Lake stewards, lake management professionals, lake-related business leaders, NHDES officials, and municipal and political leaders all came together to exchange information, ideas and experiences, and introduce new approaches to help manage and protect New Hampshire’s lakes. The conference was a record-breaking success! It was sold-out and many of 203 attendees reported that the program was spectacular.

BCM Continues to Fight the Proposed Northern Pass Project

Amy Manzelli, Esq., in collaboration with the entire BCM team, representing the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, argued successfully against a Motion to Recuse two members of the Site Evaluation Committee filed by the Business Intervenor Group in the Northern Pass matter.  Amy asserted that the Group failed “to appreciate the difference between a decision-maker denying a motion for rehearing because the moving party failed to persuade her and a decision-maker who has predetermined the outcome prior to a hearing.”  The SEC has previously voted 7-0 to deny a certificate of site and facility for the proposed project.

Click here to read more.