Follow Up: Site Law, Stormwater, and Climate Change Discussions

On December 4th, Pierce Atwood held a Breakfast Briefing on proposed changes to the Site Law and Stormwater Management regulations.  As we discussed at the Briefing, issues of development, climate change and stormwater regulation will remain active through the upcoming session, and beyond.

In the short term, interested parties are strongly encouraged to follow the Legislature’s process to consider LD 891, An Act To Amend the Site Location of Development Laws To Include Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.  This bill could result in significant new requirements to assess greenhouse gas emissions from proposed development.  The Legislature’s Committee on Natural Resources will take up the LD 891 climate change standard in early January.  We will be back in touch with you shortly after the New Year with updated information and suggested talking points for discussions with legislators regarding the bill.

DEP has also stated that it expects to move forward during 2010 with rulemaking on the Stormwater Management (Chapter 500) and Site Law (Chapters 371-380) regulations.  The most recent meeting to discuss potential regulatory changes was held on December 16 in Augusta.  At this meeting, DEP staff sought feedback regarding municipal capacity and delegation; review of proposed changes to Chapter 375, Appendix A (“Minimum Performance Standards for Electric Utility Corridors”); the draft lighting regulations in Chapter 375; and, review of proposed Chapter 377, the “Infrastructure” standards.  A number of participants in the meeting expressed significant concerns about these proposals and questioned the scientific and policy bases for the proposed rules.  At present, however, the extent to which DEP will respond to these comments with meaningful revisions to the rules remains unclear.

The DEP pre-rulemaking drafts can be found online, at:

If you have questions about LD 891, the potential content of the regulations or the possible scope of the upcoming discussions, or would like us to represent your interests in this process, please contact us.