a proposal by the LePage administration here in Maine to remove the state from key anti-smog rules, a proposal that had almost passed unnoticed on the Department of Environmental Protection's website. The DEP defends the move, saying it will foster industrial investment without adverse effect on the environment. Paper companies, it soon was shown, were major supporters of the measure.
As a result of these reports, the DEP agreed to hold public hearings, while the federal Environmetal Protection Agency -- which must approve the measure -- extended the official comment period by a month. That comment period ended Oct. 3, right in the midst of the shutdown, complicating efforts to determine what stakeholders had to say.
Now the dust has cleared, and in today's Portland Press Herald I have an update based on interviews, a public records request, and the official comments. The headline: that two states are opposing Maine's move, saying it is technically flawed and amounts to bad policy. The DEP defends their position. Details herein.
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