After more than a year of pre-rulemaking process including the issuance of two drafts, the Maine DEP has commenced formal rulemaking and today issued draft rules for wind energy developments in Maine. The formal draft largely tracks the most recent pre-rulemaking version issued in January 2017. The draft rules include standards for evaluating scenic impacts, limits on shadow flicker, provisions related to public safety, and requirements for demonstrating significant tangible benefits.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP” or “the Department”) recently adopted a new regulation that adds two flame retardants to the State’s “Priority Chemicals” list. The regulation requires that manufacturers and distributers who intentionally add decabromodiphenyl ether (“deca BDE”) or hexabromocylododecane to “Children’s Products” report that activity to the Department no later than August 31, 2017.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Chapter 450 and Land Use Regulation Commission (LUPC) Chapter 11 regulations for hydropower projects have been updated. The new rules eliminate an inconsistency that existed between the license transfer provisions for hydropower and other environmental permits. Specifically, the revised rules apply the same standards and procedures to hydropower projects, including the definition of what constitutes a change in ownership that triggers the requirement to transfer a permit, that govern other DEP and LUPC permits.
On Thursday July 20th, the Board of Selectmen for the Town of Kennebunk held a workshop to gather information regarding the Town’s potential role in the future of three dams along the Mousam River in Kennebunk, Maine. The Board workshop was centered around a presentation prepared by Verrill Dana attorneys Scott Anderson and Jim Cohen. During the meeting, Anderson presented four options for the future of the dams, including whether or not to conduct an independent “peer review” of the economics of retaining or abandoning the dams.
Landowners in Maine’s two most populous counties should take heed: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepares to roll-out updated preliminary flood insurance maps for Cumberland and York counties. FEMA announced Monday it plans to issue revised flood hazard maps on April 14. This is consistent with the state’s map adoption schedule, indicating a Spring 2017 release.