Natural Resources Pre-application Meetings
- Date: August, 1999 Contact: 207-287-3901
Department rules (Chapter Two: Rules Concerning the Processing of Applications) require pre-application and pre-submission meetings for all Natural Resources (NRPA) applications which involve filling or dewatering greater than 20,000 square feet of wetland; construction of expansions or new buildings on frontal dunes; and new crossings of outstanding river segments. While not required in other instances involving NRPA, these meetings are available to applicants as requested.
DEP's Division of Land Resource Regulation (DLRR) has developed procedures for pre-application and pre-submission meetings between applicants for Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA) permits and DLRR staff. The goal is to help the applicant design a project that will have minimal impact on the environment and prepare a complete application.
The purpose of a pre-application meeting is to examine a project to make sure that it is designed to avoid and minimize environmental impacts, before a final design is committed to, and before a great deal of money is spent.
Pre-application meetings: (1) encourage information exchange about the proposed project early in the planning stage; and (2) help the applicant understand the permitting process, his or her responsibilities in that process, and the environmental issues posed by the project at hand.
Pre-application meetings also provide an opportunity to identify aspects of the project which could make the application difficult to approve. In these instances, there is the additional opportunity to discuss possible alternatives.
Pre-submission meetings are used to verify that all required information is included in the application, expediting acceptance of the application for processing by the Department.
To set up a pre-app meeting:
(1) Determine which law and regulations are applicable to the project and obtain copies from the Department. You can do this by calling the nearest DEP regional office and talking to the staff member "on-call".
(2) Compile the following documents:
a) preliminary site plan
b) brief project description
c) regional map with the site marked (i.e. a topographic map or Delorme Gazetteer)
d) soils information, where applicable
e) photographs of the site, if possible
f) (if the site is near a beach or a sand dune) a copy of the sand dune map and the FEMA flood insurance rate map with the site marked (maps available at town offices)
(3) Send the information to the DEP office nearest to the project site:
Attn: Division of Land Resource Regulation Licensing Supervisor
Bureau of Land & Water Quality
Maine Department of Environmental Protection
· Augusta 17 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333
· Bangor 106 Hogan Road, Bangor, ME 04401
· Portland 312 Canco Drive, Portland, ME 04103
· Presque Isle 1235 Central Drive, Presque Isle, ME 04769
(4) Prepare for a meeting with DLRR staff. Following receipt and review of your documentation, a DLRR staff member will contact you to arrange a mutually convenient meeting time.
If your project requires a permit from more than one Bureau and you wish to schedule a pre-application meeting for all the applications at one time, contact the Office of the Commissioner (located in Augusta) at (207)287-2812.
To ensure that a meaningful two-way dialogue takes place and that the pre-app meeting is productive, come to the meeting prepared to discuss all aspects of the project. You should also review the applicable law and regulations in advance in order to identify any questions you may want to raise about the process. Also be prepared to discuss alternative locations, designs, size, and construction options that could apply to your project. From the very outset, it is important that all parties involved have accurate expectations and a clear understanding of the shared responsibility.