Hydropower Project Administrative Rules Update

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Chapter 450 and Land Use Regulation Commission (LUPC) Chapter 11 regulations for hydropower projects have been updated. The new rules eliminate an inconsistency that existed between the license transfer provisions for hydropower and other environmental permits. Specifically, the revised rules apply the same standards and procedures to hydropower projects, including the definition of what constitutes a change in ownership that triggers the requirement to transfer a permit, that govern other DEP and LUPC permits.

Posted on August 30, 2017 .

The Future of the Kennebunk Dams

On Thursday July 20th, the Board of Selectmen for the Town of Kennebunk held a workshop to gather information regarding the Town’s potential role in the future of three dams along the Mousam River in Kennebunk, Maine.  The Board workshop was centered around a presentation prepared by Verrill Dana attorneys Scott Anderson and Jim Cohen.  During the meeting, Anderson presented four options for the future of the dams, including whether or not to conduct an independent “peer review” of the economics of retaining or abandoning the dams. 

Posted on August 1, 2017 .

Batten Down the Hatches: FEMA Releases New Flood Maps for Cumberland and York Counties

Landowners in Maine’s two most populous counties should take heed: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepares to roll-out updated preliminary flood insurance maps for Cumberland and York counties. FEMA announced Monday it plans to issue revised flood hazard maps on April 14. This is consistent with the state’s map adoption schedule, indicating a Spring 2017 release.

A New Model for Offshore Windpower?

According to an article in Maritime Executive, offshore renewable power developers are about to sign an agreement for the construction of islands in the middle of the North Sea as bases for offshore wind facilities.  As the article states: “[t]he generated wind energy could then be distributed from the islands over direct current lines to the North Sea countries of the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Norway and Belgium. Transmission cables would simultaneously function as interconnectors between the energy markets of the countries, so that besides transmitting wind electricity to the connected countries, the countries could also trade electricity.”

Posted on March 13, 2017 .

EPA Releases 2016 Enforcement Figures

This year marks the third annual post from this Blog highlighting EPA’s enforcement and compliance figures. And while this year’s data tells a number of interesting stories, no story is larger than the potential impact of the incoming Trump Administration on EPA’s enforcement figures in 2017. With that as our backdrop—and fully admitting that this time next year, EPA’s data may look very different giving us even more to talk about—here are just some of the interesting facts and trends spotted in last year's data. 

Posted on January 24, 2017 .