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

Capter 101, Visible Emissions Regulation - Re-posting

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule (PDF) :: MAPA 3 Notice (PDF) :: Comment on this Rule (accepted until 5:00 PM November 2, 2018)

Concise Summary:

The Department is proposing to amend its Chapter 101: Visible Emissions Regulation. As the result of legal action against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), such exemptions have been found to conflict with Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements. As a result, the EPA has issued a State Implementation Plans (SIP) Call, identifying each state and state rule deemed in conflict with such CAA requirements. This proposed rulemaking rectifies language and requirements to bring the Chapter in compliance with the SIP Call and CAA requirements. These amendments will be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval in Maine's State Implementation Plan.

On July 18, 2018, the Department posted this proposal to a 30-day public comment period with an opportunity to request a public hearing; the comment period closed on August 17, 2018. After reviewing public comments, the Department revised its proposals and provided an opportunity for additional public comment pursuant to 5 M.R.S. § 8052(5)(B) on additional changes to the proposals that may be substantial. These changes include:

  • Specific exclusions have been added to Section 1(C) to clarify the Department's intent to exempt equipment subject to a visible emission standard under New Source Performance Standards (40 C.F.R. Part 60) or National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (40 C.F.R. Part 63) as well as units with a wet plume subject to operating limits for control of PM under National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (40 C.F.R. Part 63);

  • Section 2(A)(5) has been revised to retain the original visible emission standards for biomass and multifuel boilers, minus the periods of unlimited opacity;

  • Section 3(C) has been added to retain the ability for facilities to amend their license to establish alternative (site-specific) work practice standards during periods of startup and shutdown;

  • For units monitored by a Continuous Opacity Monitoring System (COMS), higher alternative limits have been added for up to 5% of the unit's operating time on a quarterly basis in lieu of utilizing work practice standards for periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction; and

  • Sections 2(A)(4) and 3 have been revised to clarify requirements for combustion turbines as opposed to reciprocating engines.

Please note that the Department is not accepting additional comments on other portions of the proposals at this time. Copies of the changes to the rules which the Department is seeking additional comment are available from the upon request by contacting the Agency contact person or on the DEP website.

Copies of these rules are available upon request by contacting the Agency contact person or on the DEP website. Pursuant to Maine law, interested parties are publicly notified of the 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.

Agency contact:
Tom Graham
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0017
207-287-7598

Public hearing: N/A - 30 day written comment period. A public hearing will be held if requested before the end of the comment period.

Public noticed: October 3, 2018

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

Chapters 100 and 113 - Repost for Additional Comment

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Chapters 100 and 113 (PDF) :: Comment on this Rule (accepted until 5:00 PM September 24, 2018)

Concise Summary:

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

On June 20, 2018, the Department posted these proposals to a 30-day public comment period with an opportunity to request a public hearing; the comment period closed on July 23, 2018. After reviewing public comments, the Department has revised its proposals and is now providing an opportunity for additional public comment pursuant to 5 M.R.S. § 8052(5)(B) on additional changes to the proposals that may be substantial. These changes include:

  • The following definitions in Chapter 100 have been revised to align with the current federal rules: "Regulated Pollutant," "Part 70 major source or major stationary source," "Significant Emissions," and "Significant Emissions Increase."

  • The Applicability section of Chapter 113 has been revised for clarity and to align both with Chapter 100 and federal requirements.

Please note that the Department is not accepting additional comments on other portions of the proposals at this time. Copies of the changes to the rules which the Department is seeking additional comment are available from the upon request by contacting the Agency contact person or on the DEP website.

Copies of these rules are available upon request by contacting the Agency contact person or on the DEP website. Pursuant to Maine law, interested parties are publicly notified of the 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.

Agency contact:
Jeffrey Crawford
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0017
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: August 22, 2018

Comment deadline: September 24, 2018, 5:00 PM

Chapters 691 and 693

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

Concise Summary:

The Department is proposing to update its Chapter 691 and 693 underground oil storage rules to include requirements under federal regulations that were passed in 2015. This will allow the Department to seek reauthorization for Maine's underground oil storage tank program. The proposal also removes outdated aspects of the rule and other minor language improvements.

Most of the proposed changes to Ch. 691 are in accordance with the EPA's regulatory changes in 2015. States with delegated authority such as Maine, are required to achieve regulatory consistency by October 13, 2018. The major changes within this rule, which are needed to gain consistency with federal regulations, include:

  • Sump testing every 3 years, unless the sump is double walled, to ensure sumps are liquid tight Changing the annual statistical inventory analysis leak detection method to monthly statistical inventory reconciliation. Currently 7 facilities would need to make this change and DEP staff has met with each facility (the last of these tanks are scheduled to be removed by August 1, 2019);
  • Facilities may remain temporarily out of service for up to 12 months, a reduction from the current 24 months; however, approval to remain out of service for longer periods of time may be obtained from the Commissioner;
  • Discharge investigation, response and corrective action is required for aboveground tanks associated with field constructed tanks or airport hydrant systems and wastewater treatment tank systems not regulated by the federal NPDES or pretreatment programs;
  • Aligning discharge investigation and corrective actions to federal rules for protection of surface waters and consistency between the state and federal rules; and
  • Installation of double walled spill buckets for new or replacement construction, eliminating the need for the 3-year sump testing.

Agency contact:
Tom Graham
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0017
207-287-7598

Public hearing: August 21, 2018, 1:00 PM
DEP Response Training Room, 4 Blossom Lane (AMHI Complex)
Augusta, Maine

Public noticed: August 3, 2018

Comment deadline: August 31, 2018, 5:00 PM

Adoption Meeting: September 18, 2018, 1:00 PM, DEP Response Training Room, Augusta

Effective Date: September 26, 2018

Maine Comprehensive and Limited Environmental Laboratory Certification Rules; 10-144 and 06-096 CMR, Ch. 263

Notice of Rulemaking

Concise Summary:

Maine CDC and DEP propose changes to Chapter 263, a joint rule. The proposed Maine Comprehensive and Limited Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Rule repeals and replaces Maine Comprehensive and Limited Environmental Laboratory Certification Rules. This proposed rule contains quality guidelines for laboratory data received by the DHHS and the DEP to help ensure that laboratories analyzing samples for the following regulations: Safe Drinking Water Act; Clean Water Act; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; and Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUST) Program, for compliance purposes, produce legally defensible data by meeting quality control and quality assurance objectives.

For more information, see the Maine CDC Proposed Rules website: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/rules/maine-cdc-rules.shtml#anchor802711

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

Public hearing: July 30, 2018

Public noticed: July 11, 2018

Comment deadline: August 9, 2018, 5:00 PM

Citizen Petition for Rulemaking to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Comment Period Extension

Fact Sheet (PDF)

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/

Pursuant to 5 M.R.S. § 8052(7), the Department is extending the public comment period on this proposal until July 30, 2018.

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: June 27, 2018

Comment deadline: July 30, 2018, 5:00 PM

Chapter 310: Wetlands and Waterbodies Protection

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

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

Adoption Meeting: October 23, 2018, 1:00 PM, DEP Response Training Room, Augusta


Major Substantive

Chapter 692, Siting of Oil Storage Facilities

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule (PDF)

Concise Summary:

The Department is proposing to amend its Chapter 692 Siting of Oil Storage Facilities rule to provide flexibility to municipalities and businesses siting oil storage facilities, as long as certain criteria and design standards are met. This proposed language adds variance language to allow for more areas to be developed without negatively impacting groundwater or drinking water. Additional municipalities and businesses would be able to site oil storage facilities including those that were previously proposed and denied. These facilities would need to meet certain criteria and design standards to ensure that the risk or oil discharges and the likelihood of future groundwater contamination has been effectively minimized.

Proposed changes include:

  • Eliminating the need to confirm mapping already completed by the Maine Geological Survey by conducting a site-specific evaluation thus creating less work for applicants;
  • Allowing flexibility to expand on a contiguous parcel if owned as of September 30, 2001 for UST facility and September 30, 2008 for an AST facility if expansion on the contiguous parcel does not increase fuel storage capacity or facility area by more than 30%;
  • Allowing a variance procedure for a municipality located on a significant sand and gravel aquifer as long as certain standards are met;
  • Allowing for a variance procedure for a facility on a polluted high yield significant sand and gravel aquifer;
  • Clarifying the design standards for facilities subject to variance requests under sections 3(B), 4(C), 4(D) or 4(E);
  • Adding a variance transfer procedure; and
  • Modifying language including correcting typographical errors and providing definitions and language clarification

Agency contact:
Tom Graham
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0017
207-287-7598

Public hearing: October 4, 2018, 9:00 AM, Board of Environmental Protection Meeting
Calumet Club, 34 West River Road
Augusta, Maine

Public noticed: September 12, 2018

Comment deadline: October 15, 2018, 5:00 PM