Natural Resources Protection Act (Maine)
Last modified on February 12, 2015.
|Name||Natural Resources Protection Act (Maine)|
|Policy Category||Other Policy|
|Policy Type||Siting and Permitting|
|Affected Technologies||Biomass/Biogas, Coal with CCS, Concentrating Solar Power, Energy Storage, Fuel Cells, Geothermal Electric, Hydroelectric, Hydroelectric (Small), Natural Gas, Nuclear, Solar Photovoltaics, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Wind energy|
|Program Administrator||Maine Department of Environmental Protection|
Maine's Department of Environmental Protection requires permits for most activities that occur in a protected natural resource area or adjacent to water resources such as rivers or wetlands. An “activity” is (A) dredging, bulldozing, removing or displacing soil, sand, vegetation or other materials; (B) draining or otherwise dewatering; (C) filling, including adding sand or other material to a sand dune; or (D) any construction, repair or alteration of any permanent structure. Protected natural resource areas include coastal sand dune systems, coastal wetlands, significant wildlife habitat, fragile mountain areas, freshwater wetlands, great ponds and rivers, streams or brooks. Some exemptions may apply.
To receive a permit, the applicant must demonstrate that the activity will not unreasonably interfere with existing scenic, aesthetic, recreational or navigational uses; will not cause unreasonable erosion of soil or sediment nor unreasonably inhibit the natural transfer of soil from the terrestrial to the marine or freshwater environment; will not unreasonably harm any significant wildlife habitat, freshwater wetland plant habitat, threatened or endangered plant habitat, aquatic or adjacent upland habitat, travel corridor, freshwater, estuarine or marine fisheries or other aquatic life; will not unreasonably interfere with the natural flow of any surface or subsurface waters; will not violate any state water quality law, including those governing the classification of the State's waters; and will not unreasonably cause or increase the flooding of the alteration area or adjacent properties.
Additional requirements apply to offshore wind projects, which must meet noise control regulations, be sited to avoid unreasonable adverse shadow flicker effects, and be constructed with setbacks adequate to protect public safety. (See: Expedited Permitting of Grid-Scale Wind Energy Development.) If the only natural resource affected by the proposed activity is a community public water system primary protection area, the applicant is released from the need to meet many of the above requirements, and must only demonstrate that the activity will not cause unreasonable erosion of soil or sediment nor unreasonably inhibit the natural transfer of soil from the terrestrial to the marine or freshwater environment, and will not violate any state water quality law, including those governing the classification of the State's waters.
|Contact Name||Michael Kuhns (Bureau Director)|
|Department||Department of Environmental Protection|
|Address||17 State House Station, Augusta, ME|
Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)
|Authority 1:||38 M.R.S.A. 480|