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NH Salt Rules. Beware!

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by thecrank, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. thecrank

    thecrank Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    If you live or work in NH, watch out for this dog. This started out as HB523, and significant issues were raised in its first hearing, so the House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee set it aside so it could be worked on over the summer. Then it was amended, in a middle of the night deal, on to a non-related "must pass" bill (budget, if I remember right) in the House. No one ( RRD Committee, House or Senate) ever fully debated this bill.

    When it became law it was sent to Department of Environmental Services for "rule making." DES held no stakeholder meetings or hearings on these "interim" rules, so the only shot is when Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR) meets on October 17th. If this can be prolonged at JLCAR, or sent back to DES for a proper rule making hearing process, perhaps the Winter will come and go before they can get this sorted out. I believe there are several big problems with this legislation.

    First, I'm no lawyer, but...........If I were thinking of signing up for this program, I would consult with an attorney who specializes in injury law and my insurance company first.

    The way I read this, if you sign up for this, and if they don't like what you are doing, how you are doing it and the records you keep, they can issue a cease and desist. That puts you out of business!!!! The problem is there is no way to regulate what you are doing, because what you are doing is what you contracted to do; control snow and ice. It is not as simple as writing a regulation that states: "Thou shalt not pour oil on the ground." Your idea of how much salt to use, as a professional salt applicator with years of experience, in all probability will be different form that of a DES employee who never had any experience in this field. There is too much room for arbitrary judgment here. The other factor is mother nature; you don't know for sure what is going to happen in even a couple of hours. Even DOT can not get this right all the time.

    If no one signs up for this program, and I believe, from reading this, no one should, that should send a message. Because the trial lawyers are against this, and with good reason, the first ambulance chaser who gets a slip and fall injury case will be running into court as fast as his crooked little legs will carry him, charging negligence on the part of the salt applicator and also filing a challenge to the part of this that limits liability.

    As far as I can see, there has not been any opportunity for stakeholders or the public have any input on this rulemaking. I would round up the troops and head for JLCAR. Failing that, an appeal to the Commissioner, or beyond. HB 523-FN is still kicking around the House and perhaps some friendly legislator could offer an amendment that repeals this.

    BTW, how long do you think this "voluntary" program will remain voluntary??? We need EVERYONE to show up in Concord on October 17th. The place is Legislative Office Building, behind the State House, 9:00 AM, ?Room 305-307. You'll be glad you did.
  2. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    Sounds familiar to what happened federally with the "lead paint" contracting that is now being "regulated" throughout the country. If you're a contractor working on homes anywhere in the USA, and you want to work on homes built prior to 1978, you're REQUIRED to be registered with the EPA. This was done for two reasons....and not the "to keep kids safe" claims that they made when it came about...

    #1. Revenue from the registrations
    #2. to increase the "teeth" in prosecuting contractors who violate the law.

    By making the registration process happen, you're essentially making a written agreement with the EPA that you won't violate the laws. If you do, they can then take you for all you're worth. Without the registrations, the lawsuits against violators tend to be unenforceable, as the defense attorneys make the plea that their client wasn't "aware". With registering, you're pleading guilty before any action against by, strictly by agreeing to register.

    Good luck up there ...