New Hampshire Alteration of Terrain permits are issued by the DES Alteration of Terrain (AoT) Program. This permit protects New Hampshire surface waters, drinking water supplies and groundwater by controlling soil erosion and managing stormwater runoff from developed areas. An AoT permit is required whenever a project proposes to disturb more than 100,000 square feet of contiguous terrain (50,000 square feet, if any portion of the project is within the protected shoreland), or disturbs an area having a grade of 25 percent or greater within 50 feet of any surface water. In addition to these larger disturbances, the AoT Permit by Rule applies to smaller sites.
This permitting program applies to earth moving operations, such as industrial, commercial, and residential developments as well as sand pits, gravel pits, and rock quarries. Permits are issued by DES after a technical review of the application, which includes the project plans and supporting documents.