Department Proposed Rulemaking

Opportunity for Comment

How do I find out about Department rulemaking and other opportunities for comment?

Information about petitions to require agency rulemaking

All Current DEP Rules (off-site, Secretary of State)

The Department has two paths for rulemaking.

  • A process for routine technical rulemaking which is performed by the department's Commissioner, and
  • A second which requires all major substantive rulemaking to be performed by the Board of Environmental Protection.

Note: Categorizing rules as routine technical or major substantive is a matter of legislative discretion. Major substantive rules are reviewed by the Legislature before final adoption by the agency.

For more information contact Jeff Crawford (207) 287-7647.


Meetings

The Department generally holds meetings for considering rulemaking actions and public hearings on proposed rulemaking the first and third Tuesdays of the month or as needed. Major substantive rule proceedings are conducted by the Board of Environmental Protection. See the BEP meeting calendar for information.

DEP is now live web streaming rulemaking meeting audio.

Pursuant to Maine law, interested parties are publicly notified of proposed rulemaking and are provided an opportunity for comment. Written comments may be submitted by mail, e-mail or fax to the contact person before the end of the comment period. To ensure the comments are considered, they must include your name and the organization you represent, if any.

Routine technical proposed rulemaking actions

Major substantive proposed rulemaking actions


Routine Technical

Chapters 100 and 113

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Chapters 100 and 113 (PDF) :: Comment on this Rule (accepted until 5:00 PM July 23, 2018)

Concise Summary:

The Department is proposing to amend its Chapter 100: Definitions Regulation and the Chapter 113: Growth Offset Regulation to provide greater clarity and flexibility to the emission offsets generation and use processes. These amendments will be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval in Maine's State Implementation Plan.

Agency contact:
Jeffrey Crawford
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-7647

Public hearing: The Department has scheduled this proposal to a 30-day public comment period. A public hearing will be held if requested before the end of the comment period

Public noticed: June 20, 2018

Comment deadline: July 23, 2018, 5:00 PM

Chapter 415: Reasonable Costs for Handling, Transportation, and Recycling of Electronic Wastes

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule (PDF) :: Comment on this Rule (accepted until 5:00 PM July 2, 2018)

Concise Summary:

The Department is proposing to amend Chapter 415 in response to changes in statute resulting from the enactment of L.D. 1847 as P.L. 2018, ch. 391. The proposed changes include the addition of 3D printers as covered devices; changes to the method for calculating payment for the recycling of monitors and printers so that the cost of recycling is paid according to market share and no longer brand-sorted, with the result that historic manufacturers will no longer be billed for recycling; and moving the due date for annual manufacturer registrations to April 1. Other changes include incidental corrections to punctuation and grammar. No significant changes to Department operations relating to the program are anticipated.

Agency contact:
Elena Bertocci
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0017
207-287-8556

Public hearing: June 19, 2018, 1:00 PM
Marquardt Building, Room 118, 32 Blossom Lane
Augusta, ME 04333

Public noticed: May 30, 2018

Comment deadline: July 2, 2018, 5:00 PM

Chapter 310: Wetlands and Waterbodies Protection

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule (PDF) :: Comment on this Rule (accepted until 5:00 PM June 29, 2018)

Concise Summary:

The Department is proposing to amend Chapter 310 to limit the definition of certain Wetlands of Special Significance to include contiguous wetlands within a 250-foot radius unless the Department determines that the activity may unreasonably adversely affect the protected resource that created the WOSS designation. The proposed rulemaking would also add shoreline stabilization projects to the list of projects that may be considered in a WOSS subject to an alternatives analysis and clarifies the definitions of “Emergent Marsh Vegetation” and “Peatland”.

Agency contact:
Mark Margerum
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-7842

Public hearing: June 19, 2018, 1:00 PM
Marquardt Building, Room 118, 32 Blossom Lane
Augusta, ME 04333

Public noticed: May 30, 2018

Comment deadline: June 29, 2018, 5:00 PM

Chapter 166: Industrial Cleaning Solvents

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule (PDF)

Concise Summary:

Section 184 of the Clean Air Act requires states to implement or update reasonably available control technology “RACT” controls on all major VOC and NOx emission sources and on source categories covered by a Control Technique Guideline “CTG” document. EPA defines RACT as the lowest emission limit that a particular source is capable of meeting by the application of control technology that is reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility. In 2006 EPA published a CTG recommending VOC controls for industrial cleaning solvents; the Department is proposing to incorporate this CTG into a new rule, which will be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval in Maine's State Implementation Plan.

The Department’s proposal expands the types of VOC emissions controlled to include those from industrial cleaning solvents in a new rule, Chapter 166. The emission limits are achieved by using low-VOC solvents and work practices.

Agency contact:
Tom Graham
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-7598

Public hearing: June 19, 2018, 1:00 PM
Marquardt Building, Room 118, 32 Blossom Lane
Augusta, ME 04333

Public noticed: May 14, 2018

Comment deadline: June 29, 2018, 5:00 PM

Citizen Petition for Rulemaking to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Fact Sheet (PDF) ::  :: Comment on this Rule (accepted until 5:00 PM June 29, 2018)

Concise Summary:

On January 24, 2018, the Department of Environmental Protection received a citizen petition (Citizen Petition for Rulemaking to Require the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to Fulfill its Statutory, Constitutional, and Public Trust Obligations to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Along a Trajectory that is Based on the Best Climate Science and that will Reduce the Impacts of Climate Change in Maine (GHG Petition)) to initiate rulemaking pursuant to 5 M.R.S. § 8055. The GHG Petition was signed by 696 registered voters,[1] and the Petition was verified and certified as required by Maine law. Therefore, pursuant to 5 M.R.S. § 8055, the Department is required to initiate rulemaking.

The Petitioners’ proposed rules seek greenhouse gas emission reductions of at least 8 percent each year, which correlates to Maine reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to approximately 75 percent below 2003 levels by the year 2035. The proposals would: (1) create a new “Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards” rule which establishes a statewide greenhouse gas emission limit for each year beginning in 2020, and requires submission of greenhouse gas emission reduction plans for certain stationary sources and vehicle fleets; (2) establish a new rule addressing sulfur hexafluoride (SF6 - a greenhouse gas) emissions from gas-insulated electrical switch gear; and (3) amend ten existing rules to incorporate greenhouse gas standards and cross-reference the new Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards rule. For proposed amendments to Chapters 146, 148, 150 and 305, the Petitioners proposed language establishing emission limits for greenhouse gases, but left blanks for the actual numerical limits.

The GHG Petition, the Petitioners' proposed rules, and Materials Circulated During Petition Drive may be found here: http://www.maine.gov/dep/ftp/GHG_Petition/ A listing of verified voter signatures along with youth and non-voter signatures is available for review at the Department’s Augusta Office.

Audio files from the May 15, 2018 meeting can be found here: http://www.maine.gov/dep/ftp/GHGPetition/meetingaudio/

Agency contact:
Jeffrey Crawford
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-7647

Public hearing: May 15, 2018 1:00 PM
DEP Response Training Room, 4 Blossom Lane (AMHI Complex)
Augusta, Maine

Public noticed: April 25, 2018

Comment deadline: June 29, 2018, 5:00 PM

Chapter 410: Maine Solid Waste Management Rules: Composting Facilities

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule Chapter (PDF) :: Adoption packet (PDF)

Concise Summary:

This rule making proposes no new language or substantive changes to Chapter 410, with the exception of a minor change to section 1(B)(1) to clarify that section so that it more accurately reflects the Department’s existing interpretation and practice. All of the highlighted language in this version, with the exception of changes to section 1(B)(1) and other minor formatting changes, was already the subject of prior Department notice and comment, and was properly adopted by the Department in those prior rulemaking proceedings. However, a footnote in a recent Maine Supreme Court decision, State of Maine v. Dubois, Inc., 2017 ME 223, paragraph 3 n.1, 174 A.3d 308, raises questions regarding the Department’s notice with respect to those prior adoptions, including whether all of the highlighted language was included on a single draft at the time of the Department’s prior public notice and comment. Accordingly, in an abundance of caution, and to alleviate any possible concerns regarding the adequacy of the Department’s notice, the Department is undertaking these current proceedings to allow for additional notice and public comment on the highlighted language, as set forth in a single draft version of Chapter 410.

In addition, the Department has proposed additional minor changes. These changes include:

  1. Correcting citations to other Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste Rules to reflect other proposed amendments.

  2. Correct formatting and citation form for consistency throughout the Department’s rules.

  3. Removing repetitive or reallocated language.

  4. Clarification of existing requirements.

  5. Clarify section 1(B)(1) “Facilities Not Subject to the Requirements of this Chapter” to more accurately reflect the Department’s existing interpretation and practice.

Agency contact:
Tom Graham
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-7598

Public hearing: The Department has scheduled this proposal to a 30-day public comment period. A public hearing will be held if the Department receives 5 or more requests before the end of the comment period.

Public noticed: April 18, 2018

Comment deadline: May 18, 2018, 5:00 PM

Adoption Meeting: June 5, 2018, 1:00 PM, DEP Response Training Room

Chapter 2: Processing of Applications and Other Administrative Matters

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule (PDF) :: Adoption packet (PDF)

Concise Summary:

The proposed amendments to Chapter 2 incorporate the statutory changes to the Department’s right of inspection and entry enacted in PL 2018, Chapter 137, section Sec. A-5, which repealed and replaced the corresponding language in Title 38, Section 347-C, to amend the process for revocation or suspension of a license in accordance with PL 2018, Chapter 137, section Sec. A-4, which modified the corresponding language in Title 38, Section 342, sub-section 11-B, and make other minor changes as identified by staff.

Agency contact:
Mark Margerum
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-7842

Public hearing: 30 day comment period; if the Department receives a request for a public hearing, one will be held

Public noticed: March 21, 2018

Comment deadline: April 20, 2018, 5:00 PM

Adoption Meeting: May 17, 2018, 9:00 AM, BEP regular meeting, Augusta Civic Center

Effective Date: June 9, 2018

Chapters 850, 851, 852, 858

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule Chapters (PDF) :: Adoption packet (PDF)

Concise Summary:

Chapter 850: Identification of Hazardous Waste Chapter 851: Standards for Generators of Hazardous Waste Chapter 852: Land Disposal Restrictions Chapter 858: Universal Waste Rules

The principal reason for the proposed rulemaking is to update the rules through incorporation of revised and new regulations promulgated by U.S. EPA under The Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA), as amended, 42 U.S.C.A. 6901, et seq. These regulations include 40 C.F.R. 172, 40 C.F.R. 173, 40 C.F.R. 178, 40 C.F.R. 179, 40 C.F.R. 260 to 273,40 C.F.R. 279, and 40 C.F.R. 761.

After consultation with U.S. EPA these amendments are necessary for the Department to complete in order for the State of Maine to receive additional authorization and to maintain current authorization to administer the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA). Federal authorization allows the Department of Environmental Protection to retain its delegated authority to administer the RCRA hazardous waste program in Maine, including the issuance of licenses for hazardous waste facilities.

The Department is also proposing to update formatting, reflect changes in the Maine Hazardous Waste Statutes and 2011 P.L. 304, and improve the general organization of the rules.

Agency contact:
Tom Graham
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-7598

Public hearing: 30 day comment period; if the Department receives a request for a public hearing, one will be held

Public noticed: February 21, 2018

Comment deadline: March 23, 2018, 5:00 PM

Adoption Meeting: May 15, 2018, 1:00 PM


Major Substantive

Chapter 418: Solid Waste Management Rules: Beneficial Use of Solid Wastes - NEW Opportunity for Additional Public Comment

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule (PDF) :: Adoption packet (PDF)

Concise Summary:

Following a deliberative session on November 16, 2017, the Board of Environmental Protection directed the Department to provide an opportunity for public comment pursuant to 5 M.R.S. § 8052(5)(B) on certain changes to the Department’s Chapter 418 rulemaking proposal that may be substantial. These changes are modifications to the “Screening Standards for Beneficial Use” in Appendix A of the revised proposal.

The proposed changes that the Department is seeking comment on at this time are identified by the use of “double underline” in the Department’s proposal. Please note that the Department is not accepting additional comments on other portions of the proposal at this time. Copies of the changes to the rule which the Department is seeking additional comment are available from the upon request by contacting the Agency contact person.

Agency contact:
Tom Graham
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-7598

Public hearing: N/A - 30 day comment period

Public noticed: November 22, 2017

Comment deadline: December 27, 2017, 5:00 PM

Chapter 502: Direct Watersheds of Lakes Most at Risk from New Development, and Urban Impaired Streams

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule (PDF) :: Hearing Transcript (PDF) :: Adoption Packet (PDF) :: Final Adopted (PDF)

Concise Summary:

The Department is proposing to amend its Chapter 502 Direct Watersheds of Lakes Most at Risk from New Development, and Urban Impaired Streams to reflect current water quality, and identify those lakes that are now most at risk from development activities and urban impaired streams.

Agency contact:
Jeffrey Crawford
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-7647

Public hearing: June 15, 2017, 9:00 AM
Augusta Civic Center, Civic Center Drive
Augusta, ME

Public noticed: May 24, 2017

Comment deadline: June 26, 2017, 5:00 PM

Effective Date: May 23, 2018

Chapter 418: Solid Waste Management Rules: Beneficial Use of Solid Wastes, Original Notice

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule (PDF) :: Hearing Transcript

Concise Summary:

The Department’s experience in administering Chapter 418 over past years has highlighted the need to revise it for a variety of reasons. Amendments to Chapter 418 are being proposed in order to: make substantive changes to certain standards and provisions of the rule based on knowledge, experience, and new information; modify the format and language for clarity, consistency and improved operation; and, update citations and references. In part, the proposed amendments include: new exemptions addressing the beneficial use of several different waste streams (e.g. spent septic systems, catch basin grit, petroleum contaminated soil); updated and consolidated general standards for beneficial use projects; replacement of the constituent values in Appendix A (Screening Standards for Beneficial Use) with current, risk based values based on the “Maine Remedial Action Guidelines for Sites Contaminated with Hazardous Substances”, as revised February 5, 2016; additions and revisions to the permit-by-rule and reduced procedure licensing standards pertaining to tires and dredge material; reorganization and substantive updates of the “Fuel Substitution” provisions of the rule; and, establishment of 4 different approval mechanisms (exemption, authorization through notification when certified by a professional engineer, permit-by-rule, and full license procedure) for the beneficial use of emulsified asphalt encapsulated contaminated soil.

Agency contact:
Tom Graham
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-7598

Public hearing: June 15, 2017, 9:00 AM
Augusta Civic Center, Civic Center Drive
Augusta, ME

Public noticed: May 24, 2017

Comment deadline: June 26, 2017, 5:00 PM