Maine Revised Statutes

§481. Findings and purpose

The Legislature finds that the economic and social well-being of the citizens of the State of Maine depends upon the location of state, municipal, quasi-municipal, educational, charitable, commercial and industrial developments with respect to the natural environment of the State; that many developments because of their size and nature are capable of causing irreparable damage to the people and the environment on the development sites and in their surroundings; that the location of such developments is too important to be left only to the determination of the owners of such developments; and that discretion must be vested in state authority to regulate the location of developments which may substantially affect the environment and quality of life in Maine. [1987, c. 812, §§1, 18 (AMD).]

The Legislature further finds that certain geological formations particularly sand and gravel deposits, contain large amounts of high quality ground water. The ground water in these formations is an important public and private resource, for drinking water supplies and other industrial, commercial and agricultural uses. The ground water in these formations is particularly susceptible to injury from pollutants, and once polluted, may not recover for hundreds of years. It is the intent of the Legislature, that activities that discharge or may discharge pollutants to ground water may not be located on these formations. [1981, c. 449, §3 (NEW).]

The purpose of this subchapter is to provide a flexible and practical means by which the State, acting through the department, in consultation with appropriate state agencies, may exercise the police power of the State to control the location of those developments substantially affecting local environment in order to insure that such developments will be located in a manner which will have a minimal adverse impact on the natural environment within the development sites and of their surroundings and protect the health, safety and general welfare of the people. [1989, c. 890, Pt. A, §40 (AFF); 1989, c. 890, Pt. B, §84 (AMD).]

The Legislature further finds that noise generated at development sites has primarily a geographically restricted and frequently transient impact that is best regulated at the municipal level pursuant to a municipality's economic development and land use plans. It is the intent of the Legislature that regulation of noise from developments be primarily the responsibility of local municipal governments. [1993, c. 383, §2 (AMD); 1993, c. 383, §42 (AFF).]

1969, c. 571, §2 (NEW). 1971, c. 613, §1 (AMD). 1971, c. 618, §12 (AMD). 1979, c. 466, §11 (AMD). 1981, c. 449, §3 (AMD). 1983, c. 513, §1 (AMD). 1987, c. 346, §1 (AMD). 1987, c. 812, §§1,18 (AMD). 1989, c. 890, §§A40,B84 (AMD). 1993, c. 383, §2 (AMD). 1993, c. 383, §42 (AFF). 1995, c. 704, §A2 (AMD). 1995, c. 704, §C2 (AFF). 1999, c. 468, §5 (AMD).