DEP and the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

The coronavirus disease is forcing changes to many aspects of our lives. Please visit the COVID-19 Response Portal for the latest information about Maine's response to the 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, and resources for Maine people. This page has information regarding Maine DEP's programs, processes and procedures where changes have become necessary in the way we do business and provide servces to our regulated community and partners. This page is updated as new information becomes available.

Administration

Continuation of state government operations during this COVID-19 outbreak is a high priority. In an effort to ensure payment for goods and services during this time, the Department of Environmental Protection has created an email address – DEP-Invoices4Payment@maine.gov – that all vendors are encouraged to use for invoice delivery. This e-mail address facilitates electronic delivery of your invoice, protects staff and ensures prompt payment.

If for any reason, you are unable to reach DEP through our main telephone lines found on our Contact page, we encourage you to call the following alternative phone numbers for reception:

  • Augusta - 207-441-3110 or 207-441-9465
  • Portland - 207-615-9928 or 207-615-6986

Board of Environmental Protection

In accordance with Governor Mills’ Executive Orders to protect public health by limiting public gatherings and requiring social distancing during the COVID-19 emergency, future meetings of the Maine Board of Environmental Protection will occur remotely.

Nonpoint Source Training Center

The Nonpoint Source Training Center has cancelled training events through May 1, 2020. See the Course Schedule for more information. or contact John Maclaine.

Bureau of Air Quality

Air Quality Forecast Hotline 287-7077 or Toll Free 1-800-223-1196

The Air Quality Forecast Hotline provides both current and expected air quality concentrations for the upcoming 24 hours. Air quality forecasts are scheduled to be updated by 3:00 pm weekdays and other times as necessary. Forecasts are also available on the Bureau's Air Quality Hotline at (800) 223-1196.

EnviroFlash Subscribe to receive emails when the air quality is forecast to reach the AQI level you select.

 Forecasts on Twitter.

Complaint Response

The Bureau's Compliance staff are available to answer questions and investigate complaints throughout the state. Inspectors for each of our regional offices can be reached at the following numbers:

Licensing and Permit Assistance

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection licenses air emission sources throughout the state. License applications can continue to be submitted and will be processed. This includes all BAQ-related applications. Licensing staff will be available via phone or email to answer your licensing questions and assist you. For more information, contact Jane Gilbert at 207-287-2455.

Compliance Obligations

Members of the regulated community have asked whether the Department will be issuing any waivers for meeting their compliance obligations during the Covid-19 pandemic. While the Department recognizes that the pandemic may place additional demands on the regulated community, we expect air emission sources to continue meeting all federal and state enforceable laws and/or air emission license requirements. Protecting public health is the Department's highest priority, and it is critical that members of the regulated community ensure their air emissions do not exacerbate the public health crisis.

If pandemic-related constraints, such as supply chain disruptions or the inability of employees to be on site, impact a facility's ability to meet compliance obligations and are beyond the facility's control, please contact the Department to discuss available options. Such situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For more information on our compliance assistance efforts during the Covid-19 outbreak, please contact Eric Kennedy at 287-5412.

Gasoline Volatility and Reformulated Gasoline Requirements in Maine

DEP Statement regarding seasonal gasoline requirements

DEP clarifies gasoline compliance obligations

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Bureau of Land Resources

Permit Applications – Email Filing Only

Department staff continue to process license applications while working remotely. Effective Monday, April 6, all applications filed with the Bureau of Land Resources must be filed by email. Instructions on how to file by email are provided below. If you are unable to file an application by email and would like to discuss an alternative, you may contact Mark Stebbins, Mark.N.Stebbins@maine.gov or 207-592-4810.

Land Licensing

Email Submission of Applications

The Department requires that applications for individual permits under the following statutes be submitted by email:

  • Site Location of Development Law (Site Law)
  • Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA)
  • Stormwater Management Law

The Department also requires email submission of both NRPA and Stormwater permit-by-rule (PBR) notifications.

Maine Construction General Permit (MCGP) Notice of Intent (NOI) forms must be filed by email, as well.

Please follow the instructions for filing individual permit applications and PBR notifications or MCGP NOIs to ensure that your application is received and reviewed as efficiently as possible. Do not email your application to an individual staff member.

Pre-application & Pre-submission Meetings

The Department continues to schedule and hold pre-application and pre-submission meetings. All of these meetings are held by teleconference or videoconference.

Contacts to schedule a pre-application meeting are:

Public Information Meetings

The Department expects that required public information meetings (PIMs) continue to be held, but that they be held by teleconference, and supplemented by videoconference when possible, following the required public notice.  Project managers will work with applicants to ensure the public remains informed about upcoming projects and permit applications.

Dams and Hydropower

The Department requires that applications for Maine Waterway Development and Conservation Act (MWDCA) permits be submitted by email, following these instructions for filing individual permit applications.

Individuals interested in filing a request for water quality certification associated with FERC licensing of hydropower projects or with other questions regarding the licensing of hydropower and non-hydropower projects and other related services should contact Kath Howatt, Kathy.Howatt@maine.gov.

Mining

The Department continues to license borrow pits and quarries under the applicable performance standards. To file an application for a variance, please follow these instructions for filing individual permit applications by email. To file a Notice of Intent to Comply with either the performance standards for gravel pits or quarries, please follow these instructions for NOITC. Contact Mike Clark, Michael.S.Clark@maine.gov.

Shoreland Zoning

The Department continues to assist municipalities with their shoreland zoning programs and review updates to local ordinances. Contact Colin Clark, Colin.A.Clark@maine.gov, with any questions about these services.

On-Call

Although the Department is not presently receiving walk-in visitors, on-call services continue. We remain ready to answer your questions.

  • Augusta: (207) 287-7688, In-state toll free (800) 452-1942
  • Bangor: (207) 941-4570, In-state toll free (888) 769-1137
  • Portland: (207) 822-6300, In-state toll free (888) 769-1036
  • Presque Isle: (207) 764-0477, In-state toll free (888) 769-1053

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Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management

All online services continue to be available. Staff continue to provide services and are available via telephone and email.

Emergency Spill Response. DEP's Oil and Hazardous Materials Responders continue to respond to oil and hazardous materials incidents. To report an oil spill call (24 hours) 1-800-482-0777. To report a hazardous materials spill call (24 hours) 1-800-452-4664.

Executive Order 24, Regarding Recycling and Solid Waste Facility Operating Hours. Executive Order 24, dated March 26, 2020, allows the suspension of restrictions regarding operating days and times for solid waste facilities licensed under 38 M.R.S. § 1310-N. Facilities should work with their DEP project manager when modifying hours of operation in response to issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, Executive Order 24 allows certain recyclable materials such as waste paper, waste plastics, waste wood, used motor vehicle tires or corrugated cardboard destined to a Maine waste-to-energy facility to constitute recycling for determining if annual recycling goals are met and for determining municipal progress towards recycling goals.

It remains essential for municipalities to facilitate the safe collection, handling, and management of waste materials throughout the period of the state of emergency related to COVID-19.  Executive Order 24 provides a means for municipalities to continue managing their communities’ waste materials in a manner that is consistent with the hierarchy for waste management in Maine law.

Plastic Bags. In light of concerns about the use of multi-use bags during the current COVID-19 public health crisis, the Legislature's response to those concerns in L.D. 2167, and effects on Department resources, the Department will not be enforcing the statewide restrictions on the use of single-use bags in 38 M.R.S. § 1611 until January 15, 2021. As of March 17, 2020, State law preempts municipal regulation of single use bags; no local ordinance requiring a fee for, or otherwise restricting the use of, single use bags is in effect.

Recycling Programs.  The Department continues to encourage municipalities to recycle during the Covid-19 pandemic, with adjustments as needed to ensure the health and safety of workers and citizens. As ecomaine noted in a recent press release, household recyclables placed by residents at their curb or transfer station are part of a global supply chain that depends on these recyclables to meet the demand of manufacturers making everyday products we all depend on, including toilet paper, paper towels, and packaging for groceries.

Municipalities are ultimately responsible for decisions regarding management of their solid waste, including any provisions for the separate management of recyclable materials and organic waste. During the Covid-19 pandemic, some municipalities may take steps deemed necessary to protect their residents and staff including temporary suspension of recycling programs.

Asbestos and Lead Abatement. Asbestos and lead abatement certifications and applications should continue to be submitted via email to alcertsapps.dep@maine.gov. Completed notification forms should continue to be submitted via email to alnotifications.dep@maine.gov. Asbestos and lead abatement certifications and applications will soon be accepted via a dedicated email address. Check back soon.

Submittal of Other License Applications. License applications can continue to be submitted and will be processed. This includes all BRWM-related applications. Please submit your application, along with a photocopy of the fee check, through our general application email at DEP.RemediationApplication@maine.gov. If a paper copy is required, you may drop off the application in the lobby of our Augusta office or send it via postal mail.

All necessary fees must be paid before the Department will consider determining that an application is complete for processing. Fees may be paid by check through regular mail with the paper copy of the application. You may also use a credit card to pay a fee by phone by contacting Gerry Travers at (207) 287-7865.

Other Contact Information: Please continue to call our offices with any questions and see our online Waste Management staff and Spills and Site Cleanup staff contact lists. For additional information not listed here, please contact David Burns or Victoria Eleftheriou.

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Bureau of Water Quality

DEP reminds Mainers of what not to flush

Wastewater Treatment Facilities

NetDMR. Assistance with NetDMR issues is available by emailing MaineNetDMR.DEP@maine.gov or by calling 207-287-9034.

DMR-QA Study 40. The announcement letter for the 2020 DMR-QA study was scheduled to be sent out by the end of March. A copy of Study 40 can be found at the EPA website using this link: DMR-QA Study 40. Please respond to Brett Goodrich with any questions.

Wastewater Operator Certification

Assessment centers offering the computer based testing (CBT) exams for wastewater operator certification are temporarily closed. Please contact Judy Bruenjes for more information.

Wastewater Operator Training

During the Covid pandemic, training providers and professional associations have temporarily stopped offering in-person classes and conferences, and are working to move their content to online platforms. DEP encourages operators to pursue online training opportunities where possible. See a list of approved online providers.

DEP is working to provide certified operators with a schedule of approved online classes. Operators may request Training Contact Hours (TCH) for wastewater webinars using the form at this link: (Please add link you created for TCH Request form above). Please contact Judy Bruenjes for more information.

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