Maine DEP Announces Aggressive Schedule for Stormwater, Climate Change and Site Law Discussions: Significant Regulatory Changes are Likely

As we predicted at the end of this year’s legislative session, the issues of growth management, climate change and stormwater regulation will remain on Maine DEP’s front burner through the fall and beyond.  DEP has advised an extensive list of interested parties that it intends to hold a series of meetings on proposed or pending changes to Site Location of Development Act and Stormwater Management regulations.

In addition, DEP wants to discuss proceeding with statutory amendments pursuant to LD 891, An Act To Amend the Site Location of Development Laws To Include Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.  This bill, which could result in significant new requirements to assess greenhouse gas emissions from proposed development, was carried over to the next (short) session of the Legislature.  As a result of LD 1268, enacted this year, DEP is also required to produce a report on municipal delegation and capacity under the Site Law.  Finally, DEP needs to reissue the Construction General Permit for Stormwater, and will wrap that task into these discussions.

DEP’s announcement notes the interrelationship between these issues, and the likely overlap of interested parties.  After the discussions are concluded, DEP expects to move forward before the Board of Environmental Protection, with rulemaking on the Stormwater Management (Chapter 500) and Site Law rules.  The Legislature’s Committee on Natural Resources will take up the LD 891 climate change standard in work session this winter.

DEP’s proposed schedule of meetings and topics is as follows: 

  • September 17:  Stormwater, Chapter 500
  • September 30:  Stormwater, Chapter 500
  • October 14:  Site Law, Chapters 372, 373, 376, 380
  • October 28:  Site Law, Chapters 375, 377
  • November 12:  Site Law, proposed climate change standard
  • December 2:  Site Law, proposed climate change standard
  • December 16:  Site Law, municipal capacity & delegation/Construction General Permit

Some of the proposed rule changes will have significant impacts on future development projects, and it is very important that the regulated community engage in these discussions.  If you have questions about 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.