Business Answers About Licensed Facilities

Mass Gatherings

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Do I need a permit to operate a mass gathering?

A Department of Health and Human Services permit is required for any outdoor gathering held with the intent of attracting a continued attendance of 2,000 or more people for 12 or more hours.

How do I apply for a permit to operate a mass gathering?

You may download an application or call the Health Inspection Program's main line at 207-287-5671 for a hard copy.

You must submit the application to the Department of Health and Human Services at least 30 days in advance of the proposed mass gathering. You also will be required to post a notice, approved by the Department, in a newspaper(s) serving the area where the mass gathering would be held, at least 30 days in advance of the proposed mass gathering unless the Department approves a shorter notice period.

The application requires you to provide information about the business owner and the proposal. You must provide a copy a water test if you use a well as a water supply, and a copy of your septic system's design if you are not on a public sewer. Please refer to the mass gathering rules for detailed requirements.

How soon can I open or how soon do I get my permit after an application is submitted?

Once the district health inspector has given approval for you to operate your establishment, within 30 days of receipt of a complete application, if there are no outstanding issues, the Health Inspector will inform the Licensing Clerk to issue your license. This generally is within a week once the Health Inspector informs the Licensing Clerk.

How much does a permit to operate a mass gathering cost?

The fee for reviewing an application is $100 and must accompany the application and the fee for the permit is as follows:

•  2,000-10,000 people is $400,

•  10,001-30,000 people is $500,

•  30,001-50,000 people is $600, and

•  50,001+ people is $750.

What kinds of services have to be provided at a mass gathering?

The operator of a mass gathering must provide potable water, bathroom facilities for both genders, public safety personnel (police, fire, emergency medical, etc.), and trash collection, among other services. Please refer to the mass gathering rules for detailed requirements.

Are permits transferable?

No. Health Inspection Program permits are not transferable.

Who is my district health inspector?

You may call the Health Inspection Program main line at 207-287-5671 to find out who the inspector is for your town, or view a list in xls format.

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How do I request an inspection?

Once your application has been submitted, your district health inspector will be in contact with you to set up a pre-operational inspection.

If you need a routine inspection, you may contact the district health inspector directly.

How soon can I get an inspection?

This depends on the Health Inspectors schedule as inspections are prioritized. Once the Health Inspector has completed your inspection and given approval to operate, you may operate your establishment. You do not need to wait for the license as your inspection with the approval of the inspector is written on the report. You will generally receive your license within a week after approval. By statute the Health Inspection Program shall issue a license within 30 days of receipt of a complete application, if the establishment is found to comply with rules adopted by the Department.

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Who do I speak with if I have technical questions about the requirements to operate a mass gathering?

Your district health inspector can assist you with these questions. You may call the Health Inspection Program main line at 207-287-5671 to find out who the inspector is for your town, or view a list in xls format.

What other requirements should I be aware of?

Other regulations which may affect operation of a mass gathering include, but are not limited to, the Maine Food Code; the Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules; the Drinking Water Rules; the Life Safety Code; and the Internal Plumbing Rules; Fire Marshall’s Office; and Liquor Licensing.

You should also check with your local municipal officials to see if there are local zoning issues or permits that you must obtain before operating your establishment.

Where can I find the mass gathering rules?

The Mass Gathering Rules and Informational Guidelines can be downloaded from our website, or we can mail you a hard copy. Download a copy of the Rules.

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