2024 Winter Technical Conference with NHDOT

On February 2, 2024, ACEC-NH hosted a Winter Technical Meeting with NHDOT. This presentation focused on stormwater management, and other hot topics including:

Water Quality Procedures & Implementation for Efficient Permitting with NHDES and Consistency in Construction.

  • NHDOT Water Quality Procedures
  • Design phase water quality procedure implementation
  • Construction phase water quality procedure implementation

NHDOT’s Inaugural Vulnerable Road User Safety Assessment

Missed the meeting or looking to share anything you’ve learned with others? View Presentation Slides Here

NHDES 2024 Water Infrastructure Funding Workshop

NHDES is hosting its  2024 Water Infrastructure Funding Workshop, from April 9-12, 2024. The online workshop will include sessions focusing on NHDES-administered funding programs with topics including funding program updates, asset management, PFAS and lead updates, and more. The intended audience includes current/future loan recipients, community/financial decision makers, public works directors, city/town managers, municipal and regional planners, consultants/engineers, operators, and others interested in the NHDES-administered funding programs.

Please see below for Tracy Wood’s PowerPoint and other information from March 28th’s NHDES/ACEC-NH CQI Committee meeting.

Env-C 500 Prequalification for Licensed Engineering Firms for Certain Projects

2024 Quarter 1: Engineering Industry Legislative Updates

10 Year Transportation Plan (2025 to 2034)

Yesterday, Bill Oldenburg (NHDOT Director of Project Development) and NHDOT Commissioner Bill Cass presented information to the House Public Works and Highways Committee.

New!! PowerPoint on the 10 Year Transportation Plan.

View current plan.

Local Bridge and Highway Aid

This week, the Senate Finance Committee sent SB 398 to interim study (effectively killing the bill). You can read the hearing report and the committee report here. The Legislature appears to have put away the checkbook and will not be spending any new dollars in this off-budget year. As you can see in the hearing report, ACEC-NH strongly supported this legislation.

Driveway Permit Bill Scaled Back

This week, the House Public Work and Highways Committee amended HB 1202. This bill seeks to establish certain deadlines for issuance of permits for the alteration of driveways exiting onto public ways. The new version of the bill only applies to any existing or proposed residential use of land, including multifamily development. In those cases, NHDOT the department shall issue a driveway permit within 30 days of filing.

Subcommittee Scraps PE & LS Licensing Board Merger

At its public hearing in January, ACEC-NH strongly opposed HB 1286 before the House Executive Departments and Administration Committee. This bill merges the board of professional engineers and the board of land surveyors into one regulatory body called the board of professional engineers and land surveyors. The board would consist of 5 members appointed by the governor and council, including 2 professional engineers, 2 land surveyors, and one public member. ACEC-NH and many other land survey, and engineering professionals opposed this bill. We believe HB 1286 is a solution in search of a problem. The two boards as currently configured serve the public and profession extremely well. A subcommittee that reviewed the bill following the public hearing voted 5 to 0 to kill it.

Drinking Water $$ Bill Moves Forward

SB 393 appropriates $25,000,000 to NHDES for the purpose of funding drinking water infrastructure in Derry. The funding will be used for Phase 2 of the Southern NH Regional Water Project, which aims to increase water supply to multiple towns impacted by PFAS contamination and growing water demands. The infrastructure will include booster pumping stations, pressure reducing stations, water storage tanks, water mains, and other necessary projects. Where does the $25 million come from? A combination of federal funds, the drinking water and groundwater trust fund, the PFAS remediation loan and grant fund and local contributions.

Wastewater Engineering Update

The State Senate has passed an amended version of SB 492, which makes several changes to wastewater engineering laws. Firstly, it removes the term “intercepting” from the description of sewers for the purpose of applying for and distributing state aid grants. Secondly, it raises the fee for wastewater operator certificates from $50 to $100. Lastly, it changes the term “consulting engineers” to “consulting engineering firms” for rule-making purposes. The bill will take effect on July 1, 2024.

Solid Waste

This week, the House Environment and Agriculture Committee conducted public hearings on bills related to solid waste regulation. This includes HB 1145, prohibiting the private ownership of landfills; and HB 1602, relative to suspending the issuance of new landfill permits until 2031. HB 1145 would ban private ownership of any new landfill, requiring the state to own all new landfills in New Hampshire. HB 1620 puts a moratorium on new landfill permits. ACEC-NH has been opposed to these types of proposals for many years.

View the complete list of bills ACEC-NH is tracking here.

The H.L. Turner Group Inc. and Quantum Construction Consultants, LLC: Building A Better Future Together

“A handshake moment as Anna Giraldi, Bill Hickey, Rick Wolf, Jr., and Jim Bouchard kickstart the merger.”

[Concord, NH – January 2024] — The H.L. Turner Group Inc. (TTG), a leader in architectural and engineering services in the northeast, announces a strategic move effective January 1, 2024: the merger with subsidiary Quantum Construction Consultants, LLC (QCC). This exciting step not only expands TTG’s service offerings but also establishes a dedicated Infrastructure Division within the company, leveraging QCC’s renowned expertise in this crucial sector. All QCC staff have joined TTG, ensuring a seamless transition and continued exceptional service for clients.

QCC brings a wealth of experience and a stellar reputation for excellence in engineering bridges, dams and roads, construction administration, and project management. Led by the highly respected Rick Wolf, Jr., QCC’s team has consistently delivered projects on time, within budget, and exceeding client expectations.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with TTG. We’re ready to unlock a new level of service and expertise for our clients and are confident this merger will drive innovation and contribute significantly to the region’s infrastructure development,” shares Rick Wolf, Jr.

The merger of QCC solidifies TTG’s position as a comprehensive, forward-thinking leader in the engineering industry. This strategic move paves the way for further growth and a commitment to delivering exceptional solutions.

“By welcoming QCC as our new Infrastructure Division, we’re not only strengthening our existing service offerings but also creating a powerhouse team capable of tackling even the most demanding engineering challenges.” – Bill Hickey, President of TTG.

About The H.L. Turner Group Inc.

The H.L. Turner Group Inc. (TTG) is a professional team of architects, engineers, and building scientists serving business, industry, and government. The company was founded in 1990. Our vision is “improving society and lives through a proactive and integrated focus on the built environment.”

Wilcox & Barton, Inc. Elevates Erin Lambert, PE, LEED AP, to Dual Leadership Roles: Senior Vice President of Civil Engineering and Senior Vice President of People & Culture

[Concord, NH] — Wilcox & Barton, Inc., a thriving New England engineering firm specializing in civil, environmental and geotechnical engineering, proudly announces the promotion of Erin Lambert , PE, LEED AP, to the prestigious positions of Senior Vice President of Civil Engineering and Senior Vice President of People & Culture.

With an outstanding record in client and staff management as well as project delivery, Lambert brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Wilcox & Barton, Inc. In her new dual role, she will continue to lead the Civil Engineering Practice, taking charge of project management, client relationships, and strategic initiatives aimed at steering the continued success of the firm. As a key member of the Executive Committee, Lambert will extend her leadership beyond project management, heading initiatives dedicated to enhancing the lives and working environment of the company’s valued staff. Her proven track record in fostering positive workplace culture aligns seamlessly with the firm’s commitment to employee success and wellbeing.

“We are delighted to recognize Erin Lambert as Senior Vice President,” said company President and CEO, William Wilcox. “Her unique ability to blend technical expertise with a people-first approach makes her the ideal leader to continue driving our Civil Engineering Practice and enhancing our workplace culture.”

Lambert expressed excitement about the promotion and stated, “I am honored to take on these dual leadership roles at Wilcox & Barton, Inc. It’s a company that consistently demonstrates a commitment to excellence and innovation, and I really value this team of people. I look forward to leveraging my experience in civil engineering and people management to contribute to the continued success of our projects and the well-being of our exceptional team.”

About Wilcox & Barton, Inc.

Since 2000, Wilcox & Barton, Inc. had provided clients with a complete range of environmental, civil, and geotechnical engineering services throughout the Northeast. The company has earned a reputation for responsiveness, successful management of complex problems, and for providing innovative, cost-effective solutions.

Bridging the Gap: Inside the ACEC-NH/NHDOT CQI Committee

Since 1990, the ACEC-NH/NHDOT CQI Committee has been a vital bridge between the consulting engineering community and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT). This dedicated group fosters open communication, collaboration, and understanding, ultimately leading to better infrastructure projects for the Granite State.

Open Doors for Collaboration

The CQI Committee welcomes six representatives from ACEC-NH member firms, each serving with term limits to ensure broad participation. NHDOT’s six representatives traditionally include the administrators from the various NHDOT Bureaus. This diverse team brings a wealth of experience and perspectives to the table, enriching discussions and solutions.

Subcommittees Driving Progress

To tackle specific areas of concern, the CQI Committee has established several active subcommittees:

  • NHDOT/ACEC-NH Technical Transfer Conference: This subcommittee organizes the annual conference, a valuable platform for knowledge sharing and professional development for both NHDOT personnel and consultants.
  • Contracts Subcommittee: This group reviews and provides input on NHDOT contract documents and procedures, aiming for clarity, fairness, and efficiency.
  • Bridge and Highway Review Subcommittee: Dedicated to ensuring the quality and safety of New Hampshire’s bridges and highways, this subcommittee reviews project plans and offers constructive feedback.

Benefits for All

Participating in the CQI Committee offers numerous benefits for both consultants and NHDOT:

  • Improved Communication: Regular dialogue fosters mutual understanding and reduces friction, leading to smoother project execution.
  • Enhanced Project Quality: Shared expertise and insights contribute to better project planning, design, and construction.
  • Streamlined Processes: By collaboratively reviewing contracts and procedures, the committee helps streamline processes and eliminate inefficiencies.
  • Professional Development: Active participation provides valuable learning opportunities for committee members, keeping them abreast of the latest industry trends and best practices.

Get Involved, Make a Difference

If you’re an ACEC-NH member firm interested in contributing to the success of New Hampshire’s infrastructure projects, consider joining the CQI Committee. By sharing your expertise and collaborating with colleagues and NHDOT personnel, you can help shape the future of transportation in the state.

For more information on the ACEC-NH/NHDOT CQI Committee and its guidelines for participation, please refer to the attached PDF.

Additionally, we encourage you to visit the ACEC-NH website to learn more about the organization and its many other initiatives. Together, we can build a better future for New Hampshire’s infrastructure!

Celebrating the EPA’s SepticSmart Week!

Are you ready to join us in celebrating the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SepticSmart Week? This annual event is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the essential aspects of using and caring for your septic system. Below we have shared the SepticSmart Quick Tip Video filled with valuable insights to help you understand how your septic system functions, what to avoid disposing of, the importance of well water testing, and more. Whether you’re looking to educate clients or enhance your own knowledge, these tips will be a valuable addition to your septic system toolkit.

EPA’s SepticSmart Week is an excellent opportunity to enhance your understanding of septic systems and their proper care. The SepticSmart Quick Tip Video provides essential information on how your septic system works, what not to dispose of, the importance of well water testing, and more. Share these valuable insights with your clients or add them to your knowledge bank to ensure your septic system remains in optimal condition. Together, we can promote better septic system management for a healthier environment and safer drinking water.

What is QBS?

In the world of procurement, an approach known as Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) is gaining traction for its emphasis on experience and technical expertise over the traditional race for the lowest cost bid. QBS is revolutionizing the way firms compete for projects, with the aim of delivering high-quality results and fostering fairness in pricing negotiations.

Under the QBS framework, firms vie for contracts based on their qualifications rather than bidding the lowest price. Here’s how the process unfolds:

  1. Qualification Evaluation: The procurement process begins with an evaluation of firms’ qualifications. This evaluation considers factors such as their experience, technical expertise, past performance, and relevant credentials. Firms are shortlisted based on these qualifications.
  2. Selection of the Top-Ranked Firm: After the qualification evaluation, the top-ranked firm is selected for further negotiations. This firm is chosen for its demonstrated ability to meet the project’s technical requirements effectively.
  3. Price Negotiations: With the top-ranked firm selected, price negotiations commence. The goal is to arrive at a fair and reasonable price that aligns with the project’s detailed scope. This negotiation is informed by the firm’s qualifications and expertise, ensuring that value and quality are at the forefront of the discussion.
  4. Client’s Budget Alignment: In most cases, the price negotiated with the top-ranked firm aligns with the client’s budget, thanks to the detailed scope and the focus on qualifications. This results in a win-win situation where the client receives top-notch services within their financial constraints.

However, if negotiations with the top-ranked firm fail to reach a mutually agreeable price, the process moves to the second most qualified firm. This ensures that the client can still access a highly qualified team while working within budgetary limits.

QBS brings several advantages to the procurement process:

  • Quality Assurance: By prioritizing qualifications, QBS helps ensure that projects are executed by firms with a proven track record of success, reducing the risk of costly mistakes and delays.
  • Fairness: QBS promotes fairness by awarding contracts based on merit rather than solely on cost. This encourages healthy competition and supports firms that invest in expertise and excellence.
  • Optimal Budget Utilization: Clients benefit from QBS as it often leads to agreements that fit their budgets while maintaining the highest level of quality.
  • Minimized Risks: The focus on qualifications helps mitigate the risks associated with subpar performance and project failures, ultimately saving time and resources.

Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) represents a transformative shift in procurement, emphasizing expertise, quality, and fairness. By prioritizing qualifications over cost in the selection process, QBS aims to deliver projects that meet or exceed expectations while staying within budgetary constraints. This innovative approach ensures that the best-qualified firms are entrusted with critical projects, ultimately benefiting both clients and the broader community.

You can learn more through ACEC’s QBS Resources Portal.

Jesse Kropelnicki to Succeed Gerry Salontai as CEO at Verdantas

Verdantas is entering the next phase of their plan.

Effective September 1, 2023, Jesse Kropelnicki will succeed Gerry Salontai as CEO. “This move follows the succession plan established at our platform formation in 2020 and aligns with my intent since inception to withdraw from day-to-day management when an appropriate successor was identified. Jesse has been an asset to our organization as Verdantas’ COO, consistently demonstrating exceptional leadership and a deep understanding of our industry and our organization.” said Gerry Salontai, CEO of Verdantas.

Read more about this exciting plan!

Universal Professional Licensure In NH

On June 28, Governor Sununu signed HB 594-FN, relative to the licensure of out-of-state applicants to boards or commissions organized under the office of professional licensure and certification.

This bill (which was recommended by a legislative study committee) requires the Office of Professional Licensure (OPLC) to expand the portability of state licensure for all professions.

The new law includes professional engineers, geologists, land surveyors, foresters, landscape architects and soil and wetland scientists.

In the near future, when someone applies for a license in NH and is already licensed and the license is substantially similar to NH’s, then they will have an expedited process. The OPLC in consultation with the individual licensing boards will decide whether the other state’s requirements are substantially similar to NH.

Qualified individuals seeking licensure in New Hampshire through endorsement— also known as reciprocity—will no longer need to submit transcripts, examination results, evidence of experience, letters of reference, and other documentation typically required to obtain a license.

Please note:

  • A person does not need to reside in NH to take advantage of this new process.
  • This will not impact individuals currently licensed in NH.
  • This new law does not mean that other states will automatically recognize a NH license because that will depend on the state and its laws.

HB 594 will become effective on August 27, 2023, and requires the OPLC to adopt administrative rules to implement the bill. The Office intends to file interim rules in late August and will prioritize these professions (none are A/E related).

The Office selected the above professions after considering the current licensure requirements for endorsement applicants, the availability of other means for reciprocity (such as licensure compacts), and the volume of applications received by the Office.

ACEC-NH will continue to provide further updates as they become available.


Nobis Group Announces New President and CEO

Nobis Group is pleased to announce a significant recent leadership transition: after 34 years of exceptional service, Ken Koornneef, PE has decided to retire from his position as President and CEO. Together with Koornneef, the company’s executive leadership team and Board of Directors have been preparing for this transition through thoughtful succession planning. Nobis Group expresses deep gratitude for Koornneef’s numerous contributions and unwavering dedication to the organization.

Nobis Group is thrilled to introduce Chris Adams, PE as the firm’s newly appointed President and CEO. Adams is a professional civil engineer with over 24 years of service at Nobis Group, holding multiple positions including, most recently, Vice President of Operations and member of the Board of Directors. Adams has a proven history of success in the consulting and engineering industry and brings this wealth of knowledge and strategic vision to lead Nobis Group into the future. His expertise and leadership acumen will be instrumental in driving Nobis Group, as a 100% employee-owned company, towards growth and continued exceptional client service, maintaining Nobis Group’s commitment to excellence and partnering with our communities into the future.

Read the Full Article

NHDOT Eliminates Salary Cap

Dear ACEC-NH Members:

Please see below from NHDOT. This is hot off the press!

Special thanks to the ACEC-NH Consultant Quality Initiative (CQI) committee for all their advocacy on behalf of the entire engineering community.

I will send a broader message about this issue in the coming days but in the meantime, please feel free to spread the word.

Alex Koutroubas, Executive Director


Salary Cap Elimination Memo – ACEC-NH

2022 Technical Transfer Conference Call for Presentations

The NHDOT/ACEC-NH Technical Transfer Conference planning committee has recently begun its work. The event will take place on April 21, 2022.

All member firms are encouraged to submit any ideas, studies or projects for consideration by the committee.

If you are proposing a specific presentation, please remember to include a title and brief description (paragraph) as well as who would be conducting the presentation.

Please submit all suggestions to ACEC-NH Executive Director, Alex Koutroubas by November 15, 2021.

ACEC-NH & NHDOT Partnering Meeting

Today ACEC-NH and NHDOT hosted a virtual partnering meeting for member firms. Peter Stamnas, Director of Project Development at NHDOT, highlighted NHDOT’s 10-year plan review with plenty of great information on funding, strategies, and more. Many others from the CQI Committee provided insight into various NHDOT updates, including RFQ Submissions, the LPA Program, Highway and Bridge Updates, and more. We thank you all for another great event!


Partnering Meeting  |  Ten Year Plan Overview

ACEC/NHDOT CQI Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes – June 16, 2021 (approved 8/18/2021)

Meeting Location:  Zoom Virtual Meeting

Day/Time:  Wednesday (1:30 pm – 3:00 pm)

In Attendance:

  • Bill Oldenburg, NHDOT (Chair)
  • Mike Long, MJ
  • Ted Kitsis, NHDOT
  • Alex Koutroubas, ACEC
  • CR Willeke, NHDOT (Scribe)
  • Bob Bollinger, FHWA
  • Darren Blood, GM2
  • Marty Kennedy, VHB
  • Loretta Girard Doughty, NHDOT
  • Chris Mulleavey, HTA
  • Rob Faulkner, CHA
  • Tobey Reynolds

Unable to Attend:

  • Jim Marshall (NHDOT)


  1. Meeting Minutes: May meeting minutes accepted as amended.
  2. Assigned Scribe for Meeting: C.R. Willeke (NHDOT)
  3. Topics for Discussion:
    • Improving Project Delivery – Mike Long mentioned that at the last meeting in May the Committee looked at items that could speed up or improve the process in the period from project inception through consultant selection and notice to proceed. At this meeting we want to look at items that can speed up or improve plan production and delivery process after consultant notice to proceed. A draft list of items / issues that slow project progress is attached and was used for discussion. Mike mentioned that today’s intent is to review the draft list of issues, verify we are properly describing the issues, and make/adjust the priority of the items on the list. The group discussed the following items on the draft list:
    • Front Office Meeting Preparation – It was mentioned that seeking front office concurrence appears to have caused delays in the past on projects. The question was raised if consultants could take on some of the responsibilities of the NHDOT PM’s in preparing for or participating in Front Office meetings to help speed up project delivery. The types of front office meetings were discussed (seeking concurrence for scope/schedule/budget changes, seeking concurrence for upcoming public meeting presentations (see #2 below), presenting the progress of a project at certain milestones, etc…), as well as the steps to prepare for front office meetings. Items like preparing the FOPIS (Front Office Project Information Sheet), allowing time for Bureau Administrator pre-review and Director of Project Development pre-review, making sure all of the background information in understood, etc…. were noted to be elements that can extend time / cause delays. It was also mentioned that newer PM’s may be less comfortable making decisions as compared to more experienced / recently retired PM’s; therefore, more vetting of project decisions is occurring which could be adding time to the project delivery process. It was also mentioned that older conference reports were felt to be lacking in capturing an appropriate record of project decisions, and therefore the FOPIS was introduced as the official record of decision making. This may be causing PM’s (especially newer PM’s) to schedule more Front Office meetings than in the past.
    • Public Outreach – It was mentioned that the linear/sequential public outreach process appears to slow down projects. Things like properly noticing abutters are state law and likely cannot be improved upon. But, similar to #1 above, the question was raised if consultants could take on some of the responsibilities of the NHDOT PM’s in preparing for or participating in public outreach and/or the front office meetings related to public outreach to help speed up project delivery.
    • Technical Plan Review Turnaround Time (Plan/Submission Reviews) – It was agreed to keep this topic on the list.
    • Delays in Receiving NTP after scope and fee are agreed on for On-Call – It was agreed to not keep this on this list as there is not much DOT or consultants can do to improve it. However, consultants will track on-call turnaround time and report back in the future about potential delays. It was mentioned that there is merit in keeping the message going that all aspects of project delivery should be as efficient as possible.
    • Delays within Bureaus (Geotechnical, ROW, Survey) – It was mentioned to keep this issue on the list. It was also mentioned that bureau coordination is an issue on NHDOT “in-house” projects as well.
    • Items 6, 7, and 8 were not discussed due to time limits.
  4. LPA Topics:
    • C.R. noted that the LPA PE On-Call process is reviewing the contract documents for the three selected firms in preparation for G&C. A big thanks to Bill Oldenburg for filling in the responsibilities that Jake (retired) used to do in contract preparation. The LPA CE On-Call process will be reviewing consultant proposals in July.
  5. Sub Committees:
    • Contracts – Darren noted that the standardized scope of work for Part A is almost done and when finished the committee will schedule a meeting.
    • Bridge – Loretta noted that they will be meeting tomorrow (June 17, 2021).
    • Highway – no updates (Jim not in attendance)
  6. Next Meeting: August 18, 2021