by Pete Didisheim, NRCM advocacy director
Dear Senator Martin, Representative Kaufmann, and members of the Natural Resources Committee:
The Natural Resources Council of Maine urges you to support the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)’s proposed biennial budget. This budget maintains the current core functions at DEP: protecting Maine’s land, water and air for all of its citizens. The budget will also allow for 4 key positions in the Land and Water Bureau: two positions for compliance and enforcement of development-related permits and standards and two positions to help issue permits. These positions are critical because DEP needs to be able to inspect projects in the field for compliance and also issue licenses in a timely manner. Given current high rates of development in Maine, these four positions are necessary for DEP to perform these functions. It is also our understanding that these positions are from dedicated DEP funds and not from the general fund.
Again, we urge you support for the proposed DEP budget, and thank you for your consideration of this important issue.