For Immediate Release
and Natural Resources Committee
AUGUSTA - State Rep. Jim Parker has been appointed to the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, putting him in position to shape legislation on issues ranging from air and water quality to returnable containers.
"I look forward to using my experience as an environmental engineer and my years of working with environmental issues to the benefit of the people of Maine," said Rep. Parker (R-Veazie), a first-term legislator.
House Speaker Robert Nutting, who made Rep. Parker's appointment to the Environment and Natural Resources panel, said he is exceptionally qualified for the position. Rep. Parker was trained as an environmental engineer at the University of Maine at Orono. He is the founder and CEO of CES Inc., an environmental consulting business with 65 employees and five offices around the state.
The Environment and Natural Resources Committee has jurisdiction over the Department of Environmental Protection and numerous related issues, such as air and water quality; shoreland zoning and disposal of solid, hazardous and biomedical wastes. Additionally, it handles management of hydropower and dams, waste-to-energy facilities and general environmental policy. It also is involved with returnable containers, subdivisions and growth management.
The Maine Legislature has 16 joint standing committees, each composed of 13 members - three senators and 10 members of the House. Every committee has jurisdiction over clearly defined parts of state government.
Rep. Parker also has been named to the Regulatory Fairness and Reform Committee. This is a group of 15 legislators who are holding hearings around the state regarding Maine's regulatory system. Based on its findings, the committee will propose legislation to overhaul or eliminate counterproductive regulations to help improve the state's business climate.
"I hope to use my business and development experience to improve the regulatory issues in this state so businesses can grow and create the jobs we so badly need," said Rep. Parker, who has served on and chaired the Sunrise County Economic Council, the Washington County Development Authority and the Greater Bangor Target Development Corp.
"All these entities worked to develop jobs," he said. "In my business I have worked with many businesses, helping them maneuver through the permitting and licensing maze. It's generally not the regulations themselves that are unreasonable. The bigger problem is the process, which is poorly defined, subject to personal and varied interpretation and most often far too time-consuming. That leads to delays, which lead to lost business opportunities."
Rep. Parker represents House District 18, which includes part of Bangor, part of Orono and Veazie. ###
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