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

    Currently, there are no major substantive proposed rules.


Routine Technical

Chapters 691 and 693

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule Chapters (PDF) :: Comment on this Rule (accepted until 5:00 PM August 31, 2018)

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 The proposal also removes outdated aspects of the rule and other minor language improvements.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

Chapter 101: Visible Emissions Regulation

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule (PDF) :: Comment on this Rule (accepted until 5:00 PM August 17, 2018)

Concise Summary:

Emissions into the ambient air from facilities, both licensed and unlicensed, are subject to visible emissions standards. These standards may be located in the Department's Chapter 101, Visible Emissions Regulation, in State-determined Best Available Control Technology (BACT) and Best Practical Treatment (BPT) determinations, and in federal National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) and/or New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). Emissions sources identified in this Chapter include sources which may not otherwise be subject to visible emissions requirements.

Currently, Chapter 101 includes up to two six-minute exemptions from visible emissions standards per three-hour period for certain regulated emissions units. 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.

Chapter 101 was originally promulgated in 1972 and was most recently updated in 2003. Since that time, the Department and EPA have identified several revisions that will provide greater clarity and flexibility to the regulated sources while accommodating real and unavoidable fluctuations in operations. Changes in this proposed rulemaking are more consistent with applicable federal requirements and do not increase the regulatory burden on affected facilities.

The proposed changes include the following:

  • Removal of the "unregulated" exemption periods and inclusion of new, alternate provisions for periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction, allowing the option of compliance with work practice standards to minimize emissions during such times instead of a numerical opacity limit.
  • Clarification of exemptions from the Chapter, including units whose visible emissions are regulated through another State rule, visible air contaminants emitted for the purpose of visible emissions observer training, and visible air contaminants emitted for the purpose of Predictive Emission Monitoring Systems (PEMS) research that has been approved by the Commissioner and EPA.
  • Clarification of the applicability of the annual capacity factor visible emission standard.
  • Inclusion of a definition of distillate fuel, for the purposes of the Chapter.
  • Removal of specific visible emissions standards for Kraft recovery furnaces, since all such units are subject to visible emission standards in applicable federal rules.

The Department may submit these amendments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval as an amendment to Maine's State Implementation Plan. Copies of these rules are available upon request by contacting the Agency contact person or on the DEP website at http://www.maine.gov/dep/rules/. 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: July 18, 2018

Comment deadline: August 17, 2018, 5:00 PM

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

::

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:



Public hearing:

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

Chapters 100 and 113

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Chapters 100 and 113 (PDF)

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) :: Adoption packet (PDF)

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

Adoption Meeting: July 31, 2018, 1:00 PM, DEP Response Training Room

Chapter 310: Wetlands and Waterbodies Protection

Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule (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

Chapter 166: Industrial Cleaning Solvents

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

Adoption Meeting: August 7, 2018, 1:00 PM, DEP Response Training Room

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


Major Substantive