I sent the following to DEP Policy Director, Heather Parent on Friday August 16. Repy came almost immediately Via Jeff Crawford that DEP is “not taking comments at this time”. When contacted by North Cairn, Press Herald Journalist, on Monday, Ms. Parent said she could not comment on the rules until they are transmitted to the Board of Environmental Protection before whom the rules will be presented argued & decided. (Ms. Cairns article is in today’s PPH) The rules are a complete sham. Here are the rules http://www.maine.gov/dep/bep/Chapter%20200/Mining%20rules%20posted%20draft%2091313.pdf ( These are the official rules up for comment at BEP. A version dated 08/16/2013 accompanied notice to me as an interested party. I haven’t finished a line by line comparison but the substance of commentary and analysis apply to the version up for public comment)Below are the “clinical details” of that diagnosis as conveyed to Heather Parent on August 20th. The draft transmitted by DEP to the BEP for the September 12th formal initiation of rule making and to which this link still connects is a later draft. The basic issues and deficiencies conveyed to Ms. Parent ( and copied to Cynthia Bertocci at BEP) are still relevant.
September 11, 2013
DEP Mining Rules to go to be formally presented to BEP tomorrow, September 12, 2013 at 9:00 AM. I wrote to the Chair and Members asking that the commission deny the Departments request for a public hearing in October and instead reach out to Maine stakeholders and global experts for advice on whether these rules were at all close to ready for public comment in the usual sense and what BEP should do with them.
I have been advised by Peggy Bensinger at the Attorney Generals’ office that only oral statements will be heard at tomorrows meeting and that letter will not be shared with members in any form or otherwise accepted as any part of the deliberation tomorrow.
I have appealed that decision as I am not physically able to make a personal appearance.
Cynthia Bertocci has confirmed it was forwarded to the Chairman for his consideration.
To me, this does not bode well either for the level of transparency or any meaningful response to the regulations that will have any effect .
September 13th 2013
I received word via email from Cynthia Bertocci that the Chairman had agreed to refer to the issues in my letter to the BEP Board and place a copy of the letter in the official folder but to distribute it to all members ( even though it was addressed to all members) or read it aloud. In otherwords, only Ms. Bertocci and the Chairman have a copy of the letter and it is presumably in the file should any member wish to see it. This was an accommodation for my physical disability, presumbably.
Ms. Bertocci said in her email to me ( availbale to anyone who would like to see it that there would be an opportunity after Ms. Parents staff presentation of the rule for those present to briefly give comment on whether this rule should go forward to rulemaking . It wasn’t clear whether those present would be given the clear option of sending it back for more professional development.