Environmental Reviews

Information about environmental reviews and what the outcomes are.

What Is An Environmental Review?

A Natural Heritage Bureau (NHB) DataCheck examines the potential for impacts to threatened and endangered species and exemplary natural communities, to enable planning, permitting, and funding.

Environmental reviews are conducted at least once a week by NHB and NH Fish and Game (NHFG). During these reviews, NHB and NHFG staff perform a desktop analysis of the proposed project area to determine if nearby rare species or exemplary communities are likely to be present in the project area and if they may be impacted. 

When Is An Environmental Review Needed?

A proposed project might be flagged during the DataCheck Tool screening either because of potential impact concerns or because the proposed project was not mapped on the DataCheck Tool and impacts are unknown.

How Long Does The Environmental Review Process Take?

Once the Bureau receives an administratively complete project submission (completed payment form and $25 check), projects may take up to 20 working days to review. This timeline may be shorter depending on the type of permit you are applying for and the number of projects in need of review at that time.

After an environmental review is completed, an email is sent to the applicant along with a DataCheck Letters. Applicants who receive “Hits Letters” must coordinate with Bureau and/or Fish and Game, which may take multiple weeks depending on the complexity of a project.

What Fees are Charged for an Environmental Review?

  • DataCheck Request, Web Tool Screening (Records Found): $25
  • DataCheck Request, Web Tool Screening (No Records Found): No Charge
  • Hardcopy DataCheck Request: $25
  • Applicant does not map project on DataCheck Tool; email or mails the Bureau a map: $25
  • Environmental Review Screening of Large Projects (Linear Projects Longer Than One Mile in Length, or Project Segments of Any Length Separated by One Mile or More): $60/hour
    • For long linear projects, submit the $25 fee payment as normal to trigger the review process and the Bureau may then invoice you as needed. (RSA 217-A).

What Is The Outcome Of An Environmental Review?

A “Hits Letter” means that NHB and NHFG staff reviewed the proposed project and determined that there may be impacts to rare species/natural communities.

This letter lists each species/community that may be impacted by the proposed project and includes comments from NHB and/or NHFG including questions or requests for supplementary materials and more information.

Follow the instructions on the DataCheck Letter to coordinate with NHB if there are any plants/natural communities listed on the DataCheck Letter as being potentially impacted and/or NHFG if there are animals listed on the DataCheck Letter. 

A “No Hits Letter” means that NHB and NHFG staff reviewed the proposed project and determined that although there may be rare species/natural communities in the vicinity of the proposed project area, there are no expected negative impacts.

This letter indicates that NHB and NHFG have no concerns about the proposed project and no further coordination is needed.