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Maine DEP invites public comment

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Department) invites the public to comment on proposals to update existing water quality standards.

Maine’s water quality standards describe what uses, such as recreation or fishing, are appropriate for which waterbodies, and which criteria and antidegradation measures are in place to protect those uses.  More information on Maine’s water quality standards can be accessed on DEP’s Water Quality Standards page.  The federal Clean Water Act and Maine law require that at least once every 3 years public hearings are held to review, and as appropriate modify or develop, water quality standards in a process known as the Triennial Review.

Under its current Triennial Review, the Department has received proposals to update existing water quality standards.  Following internal review, the Department has developed recommendations for changes to existing water quality standards and is now inviting public comment on those recommendations.  At a virtual meeting on Friday, May 21, 2021, from 9 a.m. to noon, the Department will provide an overview of the proposals and offer an opportunity to provide input.  Registration for the meeting is available here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUoduivrD8iE9KnZM9IdLycsrlCvoDjod5d.  Public comments may also be submitted electronically until 5 p.m. on May 26, 2021.  A list of proposals received, and the Department’s recommendations for action, is available on the Department website Triennial Review Maine’s Water Quality Standards.  During the public comment period, the Department also invites the public to submit additional proposals for changes to Maine’s WQS.

During the summer of 2021, the Department plans to request that the Board of Environmental Protection schedule a public hearing (likely this fall) and receive public comment before making recommendations on water quality standards changes to the Maine Legislature.  The Legislature is responsible for making statutory changes for Maine, but ultimately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must give final approval to changes made by the State of Maine.

Please use the following link to learn more: Triennial Review Page, Maine Department of Environmental Protection

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