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Stewarding Our Natural Resources, Ensuring A Sustainable Economy Commissioner Patricia Aho MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Protecting Maine’s.

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Presentation on theme: "Stewarding Our Natural Resources, Ensuring A Sustainable Economy Commissioner Patricia Aho MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Protecting Maine’s."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Stewarding Our Natural Resources, Ensuring A Sustainable Economy Commissioner Patricia Aho MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Protecting Maine’s Air, Land and Water

3 Without our natural resources, we won’t have fishing, farming, or forestry. Without our natural resources, we wouldn’t be “Vacationland” or “The Way Life Should Be.” Without the views of our mountains, lakes, coast, or our rolling fields – we won’t have tourism. We won’t be Maine. MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

4 DEP By the Numbers MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION  410 staff  Four offices -Central Maine Regional Office/Commissioner’s Office (Augusta) -Southern Maine Regional Office (Portland) -Eastern Maine Regional Office (Bangor) -Northern Maine Regional Office (Presque Isle)  $60.4 million spending (less than 10% from general fund)

5 DEP By the Numbers MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION  Issue 5,000+ licenses/permits  Respond to nearly 3,000 oil and hazmat spills  Partner in training, funding the 2800 inspectors who conducted 76,000+ courtesy boat inspections in 2011  Facilitated and partially-funded creation of 20 community water districts  $1.3 million in enforcement in 2011 ($600K to SEPs)  Oversee:  45 active landfills/230 active transfer stations  882 gravel pits/100 in UTs  500+ long-term remediation sites

6 Priority: Improve Permitting Process MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Permit Area2010 Average2011 Average Land (W/PBRS) 30 Days27 Days Land (W/O PBRS) 78 Days64 Days Solid Waste196 Days169 Days Since May 2011, the Air Bureau has reduced its license backlog (dating back to 2006) by 71%

7 “Working with the DEP on our expansion project was much easier than I anticipated. I prepared for the worst and was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it went. From the timely site inspection to the quick meeting date for the application review, all went without a hitch. I expect our expansion to be completed on time with DEP’s help. This addition will allow us to house five new machining centers and create a minimum of 15 new, good-paying jobs with excellent benefits.” -Kevin Nelson, VP of Operations, Mid-State Machine Products, Winslow MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

8 “I would like to express what a quick turnaround means for everyone involved. Many municipalities in Maine will not issue site plan approval contingent on approval of a Stormwater Management Law Application. That means we must have a DEP permit in hand before the municipality will give site plan approval. Some even go as far to require a permit be submitted four weeks in advance of any final site plan meeting. As you know, this creates timing nightmares for Developers and other applicants that can delay construction for 4-6 months depending on the season. To get our permits quicker means municipalities will begin to collect taxes earlier, local contractors in the area will go to work earlier, and employees of the TSC store will be employed earlier.” -Chris Kettler, Michigan-based developer of seven Tractor Supply Stores in Maine MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

9 Priority: Enhance Culture of Cooperation Senior team has private & public sector experience Refocused Office of Assistance/Assistance Hotline Launched facility manager pilot project Launched in-house cross-media licensing team Relaunch of Governor’s Awards for Env. Excellence Overhaul of DEP website MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

10 New Website

11 Priority: Regulatory Reform MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION In-house rule audit (existing 200 rules) LD 1 authorized OC routine technical rulemaking – Repealed five rules outdated due to newer state or fed regulations & improved technology – Adopted six rules (including beneficial reuse of wood ash and isopropyl alcohol) – 10 +/- currently in process at DEP/3 major substantive at BEP

12 Regulatory Reform Continued MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION – Storage of lobster traps on docks – NRPA amendments regarding sand dunes – Beneficial reuse – IWWH Permit-By-Rule – Shoreland zoning clarifications, flexibility – Minor source air permits from five to 10 years – Clarifications, exemptions to site law – Overhauling wastewater discharge fee system

13 Where We Are Headed MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Focus on core priority implementation Reassignment of LURC and SPO duties Create efficiencies (internal and external) Development a more multi-media trained staff – Assess pilot project results and implement recommendations Predictable, pragmatic regulatory process Encouraging engagement in Augusta

14 Stewarding our natural resources, ensuring a sustainable economy All of us here today share an appreciation for and have a collective commitment to Maine’s environment and natural resources. We also share the belief that we can have both a strong and healthy environment and a robust and sustainable economy. Thank you for joining us to move Maine forward together. MAINE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

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