Sep 25, 2015

Maine site law. Big changes proposed by outgoing DEP Commissioner.

Bay friends, these changes could have huge repercussions.. Millions of (wild) lives at stake.
Dumping dredge spoils. Creating a plume.
WHAT:  Maine DEP is revising several parts of its Site Location of Development  Act.(link to background, law and more) 
This is the law that requires a look not only at the direct impact of a development project on its immediate eco-footprint, but also: (1) the indirect impacts the development could have on nearby or connnected environments & ecosystems,  and  (2) the cumulative impact it would have when added to already existing developments. 

Changes to the rules implementing this important law need close examination!

DEP proposes changes to Chapters 373, 375 & 380 rules
Commissioner Aho: See no evil.

Existing wording  Chapter 373  ** Chapter 375 ** Chapter 380  (pdf)
Proposed Changes
Ch 373 Financial Capacity and Technical Ability.8pg   Almost complete replacement
Ch 375  No adverse effect on the natural environment  39pgs Replaces sec 16,17,18 
Ch 380: Long term construction projects 5pgs Completely replaces "Planning Permit"
All three chapters in one pdf

MDEP factsheet on the proposed changes (pdf)

FOPB Prelim Observations
Chapter 373   
Every reference to "Board of Environmental Protection" is removed.
Every mention of "pollution" is removed except once: "pollution abatement" is mentioned 

Chap 375   Replaces most of the solid waste, odor and water supply sections of the chapter
16.  Adequate Provision for Solid Waste Disposal  
17.  Adequate Provisions for the Control of Odors
18.  Adequate Provision for Securing and Maintaining Sufficient and Healthful Water Supplies

Chap 380 replaces Planning Permit" wording with  "Long term construction projects" 

Lobsterman speaks to Board of Environmental Protection  earlier this year
BACKSTORY In 1970, the federal government enacted the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which required federal agencies to evaluate the environmental effects of  federal undertakings and permitting. Many states followed suit with so-called ‘‘mini NEPA’’ laws, requiring evaluation of the environmental impacts of state and local actions. Maine's Site Location of Development Act  is the state's mini-NEPA law.


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