LD 1323
Session - 126th Maine Legislature
C "A", Filing Number H-549, Sponsored by
LR 1364
Item 2
Bill Tracking, Additional Documents Chamber Status

Amend the bill by striking out everything after the enacting clause and before the summary and inserting the following:

Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §685-B, sub-§2-C, ¶A,  as repealed and replaced by PL 2011, c. 682, §17, is repealed.

Sec. 2. 35-A MRSA §3402, sub-§2,  as enacted by PL 2007, c. 661, Pt. A, §5 and amended by PL 2011, c. 682, §38, is further amended to read:

2. Need for modification of regulatory process for siting wind energy developments.  The Legislature finds that it is in the public interest to reduce the potential for controversy regarding siting of grid-scale wind energy development by expediting development in places where it is most compatible with existing patterns of development and resource values when considered broadly at the landscape level. Accordingly, the Legislature finds that certain aspects of the State's regulatory process for determining the environmental acceptability of wind energy developments should be modified to encourage the siting of wind energy developments in these areas. Such changes include, but are not limited to:
A Making wind energy development a permitted use within certain parts of the State's unorganized and deorganized areas;
B. Refining certain procedures of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine Land Use Planning Commission; and
C. Because the Legislature recognizes that wind turbines are potentially a highly visible feature of the landscape that will have an impact on views, judging the effects of wind energy development on scenic character and existing uses related to scenic character based on whether the development significantly compromises views from a scenic resource of state or national significance such that the development has an unreasonable adverse effect on the scenic character or existing uses related to the scenic character of that resource.

The Legislature further finds that, while wind energy may be developed at many sites with minimal site-specific environmental impacts, wind energy developments may have, in addition to their beneficial environmental effects and potential scenic impacts, specific adverse environmental effects that must be addressed in state permitting decisions pursuant to approval criteria tailored to address issues presented by wind energy development. Nothing in this section is meant to diminish the importance of addressing as appropriate site-specific impacts on natural values, including, but not limited to, wildlife, wildlife habitats and other ecological values.

The Legislature further finds that development of the State's wind energy resources should be undertaken in a manner that ensures significant tangible benefits to the people of the State, including, but not limited to, residents of communities that host wind energy facilities; and that the State should seek to host a substantial amount of wind energy as part of a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the goals established in the state climate action plan developed pursuant to Title 38, section 577.

The Legislature further finds that careful consideration should be undertaken to ensure that wind energy development is sited in the areas in the unorganized and deorganized areas of the State where wind energy development is most appropriately designated as an allowed use by the Maine Land Use Planning Commission.

Sec. 3. PL 2007, c. 661, Pt. C, §6, sub-§4,  as amended by PL 2009, c. 415, Pt. D, §2, is repealed.

Sec. 4. Rules. The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Maine Land Use Planning Commission shall amend its rules to make necessary changes to the uses allowed within a district or subdistrict to be consistent with the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 12, chapter 206-A and Title 35-A, section 3402, subsection 2. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

Sec. 5. Appropriations and allocations. The following appropriations and allocations are made.


Land Use Planning Commission 0236

Initiative: Provides one-time funding for rulemaking.

GENERAL FUND 2013-14 2014-15
All Other
$2,500 $0
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Sec. 6. Effective date. This Act takes effect January 1, 2015.’


This amendment is the minority report of the committee and replaces the bill. It repeals the provision of law specifying that an expedited wind energy development is a use requiring a permit but not a special exception. It repeals the requirement that the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Maine Land Use Planning Commission make expedited wind energy development a use allowed with a permit in expedited permitting areas. The effect of the repeals is to require that, in order for a wind energy development in the unorganized or deorganized area of the State to receive a permit from the Department of Environmental Protection or the Maine Land Use Planning Commission, the development must be located in a subdistrict in which it is an allowed use. It also replaces a legislative finding regarding wind energy development in the unorganized and deorganized areas of the State and requires the Maine Land Use Planning Commission to amend its rules regarding allowed uses.

This amendment adds an appropriations and allocations section.

(See attached)

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