On Monday, May 3, Ben Gilman, general counsel for the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, delivered the following testimony before the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources in opposition to LD 1532, An Act To Protect Maine’s Air Quality by Strengthening Requirements for Air Emissions Licensing.
Senator Brenner, Representative Tucker, and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources: My name is Ben Gilman. I am from Gorham, and I represent the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, a statewide business organization made up of both large and small businesses, here to provide you with our testimony in opposition to LD 1532, An Act To Protect Maine’s Air Quality by Strengthening Requirements for Air Emissions Licensing.
The Maine State Chamber of Commerce supports policies and regulations that create certainty for Maine businesses. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) does a good job implanting and enforcing a robust air emissions regulatory environment, and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce believes that LD 1532 is unnecessary. LD 1532 seeks to change a current regulatory process substantially – which begs the question: what is the problem it is seeking to address, and is it necessary?
Maine DEP is already monitoring air quality across the state and has the authority to address potential air quality issues and does a good job enforcing current regulations. If the changes in LD 1532 were enacted, it would impact hundreds of hospitals, colleges, and businesses with air permits and the hundreds of thousands of Mainers who use their products and services. In addition to the broad impact to businesses and institutions across Maine, the bill’s requirements would likely overwhelm the department administratively and create a regulatory infrastructure that would not necessarily deliver better protections for our environment. The department would spend more time interpreting overly burdensome regulations and not on enforcing current regulations.
The Maine State Chamber of Commerce is not opposed to looking at regulations or making changes, but it has to be done in a manner that delivers regulatory consistency and makes sense from an administrative standpoint for the DEP. LD 1532 does neither of these, and we would encourage the committee to vote “ought not to pass” on LD 1532. Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with our testimony.
If you have any questions, please contact Ben Gilman by calling (207) 623-4568, ext. 108, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.