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Maine DEP News and Media Releases



Official media releases from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.



Copyright: Copyright 2016 All rights reserved.
 



Maine DEP Issues Air Quality Alert for Thursday, August 11, 2016

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 14:35:35 EDT

(AUGUSTA)-- Ground-level ozone concentrations will be climbing in Maine on Thursday and are expected to reach unhealthy levels according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Unhealthy levels are expected along the coast from Kittery through Acadia National Park. Moderate levels of ozone are possible in the Downeast Coast as well as the Western Interior region. In addition, moderate levels of particle pollution are likely for the Portland area. At elevated ozone levels, children, healthy adults who exert themselves, and individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, bronchitis or COPD can experience reduced lung function and irritation. When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest. The weather will also be extremely hot and humid tomorrow, so sensitive people - including older adults, infants, those with chronic diseases, including asthma or COPD, and those who work outside - should be especially cautious. Stay cool, in an air conditioned space if possible; lie low; and drink plenty of fluids. Some actions you can take to protect your health during periods of unhealthy air quality include:

- Adjusting your schedule to avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the afternoon.

- Please consult the Maine CDC website for information on the health impacts of extreme heat and appropriate actions to take (http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/heat/).

- The Maine CDC Asthma Prevention and Control Program has asthma information available at their web site: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/mat/index.htm

- For more information on asthma control visit EPA's Web site www.epa.gov/asthma to find information about asthma triggers and lessons on asthma management.

In addition to those in a sensitive group, sports coaches, elder care workers, nurses and others who are responsible for the welfare of people impacted by poor air quality are urged to use one of the listed tools to follow the Air Quality Forecast: Air Quality Forecast page: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/ which has links to:

- EnviroFlash, EPA's email and text alert system, http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/enviroflash.html

- Twitter, for sign up information go to: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/twitter.html

- EPA's mobile app is available at: http://m.epa.gov/apps/airnow.html

- DEP's toll free air quality hotline is 1-800-223-1196 For more information call the contacts listed above or go to DEP's air quality web site http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/ .



Maine DEP Issues Air Quality Alert for Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 14:33:28 EDT

(AUGUSTA)-- Ground-level ozone concentrations will be climbing in Maine on Thursday and are expected to reach unhealthy levels according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Unhealthy levels are expected along the coast from Kittery through Reid State Park. Moderate levels of ozone are possible in the Mid-Coast including the High Elevations of Acadia, the Downeast Coast as well as the Western Interior region. At elevated ozone levels, children, healthy adults who exert themselves, and individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, bronchitis or COPD can experience reduced lung function and irritation. When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest. Some actions you can take to protect your health during periods of unhealthy air quality include:

- Adjusting your schedule to avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the afternoon. - Please consult the Maine CDC website for information on the health impacts of extreme heat and appropriate actions to take (http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/heat/). - The Maine CDC Asthma Prevention and Control Program has asthma information available at their web site: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/mat/index.htm - For more information on asthma control visit EPA's Web site www.epa.gov/asthma to find information about asthma triggers and lessons on asthma management.

In addition to those in a sensitive group, sports coaches, elder care workers, nurses and others who are responsible for the welfare of people impacted by poor air quality are urged to use one of the listed tools to follow the Air Quality Forecast:

- Air Quality Forecast page: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/ which has links to: - EnviroFlash, EPA's email and text alert system, http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/enviroflash.html - Twitter, for sign up information go to: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/twitter.html - EPA's mobile app is available at: http://m.epa.gov/apps/airnow.html - DEP's toll free air quality hotline is 1-800-223-1196 For more information call the contacts listed above or go to DEP's air quality web site http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/



Maine DEP Issues Air Quality Alert for Friday, July 22, 2016

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 15:12:39 EDT

(AUGUSTA)-- Ground-level ozone concentrations will be climbing in Maine on Friday and are expected to reach unhealthy levels according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Unhealthy levels are expected along the coast from Kittery through Acadia Nat'l Park. The Downeast Coast as well as inland areas close to the coast are expected to be in the Moderate range. There is a possibility that unhealthy levels of ozone might continue into Saturday as well. At elevated ozone levels, children, healthy adults who exert themselves, and individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, bronchitis or COPD can experience reduced lung function and irritation. When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest. Some actions you can take to protect your health during periods of unhealthy air quality include:

- Adjusting your schedule to avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the afternoon. - Please consult the Maine CDC website for information on the health impacts of extreme heat and appropriate actions to take (http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/heat/). - The Maine CDC Asthma Prevention and Control Program has asthma information available at their web site: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/mat/index.htm - For more information on asthma control visit EPA's Web site www.epa.gov/asthma to find information about asthma triggers and lessons on asthma management.

In addition to those in a sensitive group, sports coaches, elder care workers, nurses and others who are responsible for the welfare of people impacted by poor air quality are urged to use one of the listed tools to follow the Air Quality Forecast:

- Air Quality Forecast page: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/ which has links to: - EnviroFlash, EPA's email and text alert system, http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/enviroflash.html - Twitter, for sign up information go to: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/twitter.html - EPA's mobile app is available at: http://m.epa.gov/apps/airnow.html - DEP's toll free air quality hotline is 1-800-223-1196 For more information call the contacts listed above or go to DEP's air quality web site http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/ .



DEP Notifies Recipients of Grants for Wetland Restoration

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 12:25:30 EDT

(AUGUSTA) -Wetlands are valuable not only for their beauty and the recreation opportunities they support, but also for critically important functions they perform in our environment. In 2014, voters passed the "Maine Clean Water and Wetlands" bond. As a result, funds were earmarked for wetland restoration, enhancement and creation projects to include provisions for climate change, flood protection and resiliency and to improve wildlife habitat.

Maine DEP recently awarded over $195,000 dollars in grant money for the following projects in Fort Fairfield, Falmouth and Owls Head:

**Tri Community Recycling and Sanitary Landfill (TCL) $94,700 Grant**

TCL proposes to restore and enhance a former freshwater wetland complex adjacent to a borrow pit on TCL property in Ft. Fairfield to enhance northern Maine's unique habitat for birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. The proposal further consists of the creation of an open water habitat to attract migratory birds and the establishment of a transitional, floodplain wetland buffer area to capture contaminants and sediment from storm water runoff before entering the wetland system. The plan includes allowing local schools and other organizations such as the local bird club, to use the finished project as an observation and educational tool.

**Town of Falmouth $95,000 Grant**

The Town of Falmouth proposes to restore 15.5 acres of emergent wetland by removing a 320- foot long gravel road that bisects a freshwater wetland. The proposal also includes preservation of 20 acres of forested upland buffer, invasive species removal, and planting of native trees along Suckfish Brook to enhance the riparian stream corridor. The proposal will preserve approximately 700 ft. of Highland lake shoreline and 2,200 feet of shoreline along Suckfish Brook. These activities will remove sediments and pollutants from the freshwater wetland and improve the water quality of Highland Lake as well as enhance the quality of Suckfish brook, a recognized trout fishery, by preserving and enhancing temperature moderating cover along the brook. This project will ensure that the brook provides high quality habitat, both as a contributor to Highland Lake and as a standalone resource unto itself.

**Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) $6,220 Grant**

MCHT's proposal is to eliminate invasive, non-native plant species which have encroached upon an important emergent freshwater wetland in Owls Head. Common reed and Himalayan balsam have colonized an area of this wetland and will be removed, restoring the wetland to its original and natural state. Although small in size, this site is within an important migratory crossover area for birds and butterflies which move along the coast line to take advantage of the area's availability of nectar plants and diversity of wetland habitats.

The application for the third round of Wetland Restoration Grants will be announced soon. Please visit Maine DEP's website for more information.



Maine DEP Issues Air Quality Alert for Friday, July 15, 2016

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 12:19:10 EDT

(AUGUSTA)-- Ground-level ozone concentrations will be climbing in Maine Friday and are expected to reach unhealthy levels according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The elevated ozone levels are expected to be confined along the coast from Kittery through Acadia NP. Within that area, unhealthy levels of ozone are expected from Cumberland through Knox County coastal towns.

At elevated ozone levels, children, healthy adults who exert themselves, and individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, bronchitis or COPD can experience reduced lung function and irritation. When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest.

Some actions you can take to protect your health during periods of unhealthy air quality include: • Adjusting your schedule to avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the afternoon. • Please consult the Maine CDC website for information on the health impacts of extreme heat and appropriate actions to take (http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/heat/). • The Maine CDC Asthma Prevention and Control Program has asthma information available at their web site: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/mat/index.htm • For more information on asthma control visit EPA's Web site www.epa.gov/asthma to find information about asthma triggers and lessons on asthma management.

In addition to those in a sensitive group, sports coaches, elder care workers, nurses and others who are responsible for the welfare of people impacted by poor air quality are urged to use one of the listed tools to follow the Air Quality Forecast: • Air Quality Forecast page: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/ which has links to: o EnviroFlash, EPA's email and text alert system, http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/enviroflash.html o Twitter, for sign up information go to: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/twitter.html o EPA's mobile app is available at: http://m.epa.gov/apps/airnow.html • DEP's toll free air quality hotline is 1-800-223-1196

For more information call the contacts listed above or go to DEP's air quality web site http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/ . #####



DEP Notifies Second Round Recipients of Grants for Culvert Upgrades

Wed, 08 Jun 2016 10:11:33 EDT

(AUGUSTA) - In November, 2014, Maine voters passed the "Clean Water for Maine" bond. As a result, $5,400,000 in funds was earmarked for vital improvement projects including stream crossing and culvert upgrades. The projects awarded will: benefit public infrastructure by replacing several culverts that are currently failing and at risk of complete washouts, open up fish spawning habitat, eliminate undersized and other impassable culverts and reduce some of the worst ongoing erosion impacts to streams, brooks, and lakes.

The DEP received 85 applications to review which totaled over 6.8 million dollars in fund requests, the Department has issued over 2.4 million dollars in grant money through this second round of applications. The application for the third round of the Grants for Stream Crossing Public Infrastructure Improvements will be announced soon. Please visit our website for more information.

Maine DEP is pleased to announce funds for the following 29 projects across the State:

- Brownfield - Eaton Center Road $95,000 - Waterford - Five Kezars Road $95,000 - Lincolnville - Slab City Road $95,000 - Willimantic - Norton Corner Road $95,000 - Starks - Sayers Mill Road $45,000 - Whitefield - Vigue Road $74,600 - Saco - Industrial Park Road $95,000 - Windham - Falmouth Road $95,000 - Sumner - Redding Road $95,000 - Washington - Youngs Hill Road $95,000 - Porter - Pine Street $95,000 - Brownville - Front Street $95,000 - New Gloucester - Morse Road $95,000 - Bar Harbor - Cromwell Harbor Road $95,000 - Brownfield - Porter Road $95,000 - Mount Chase - Owlsboro Road $95,000 - Orland - Bald Mountain Road $95,000 - Kittery Water District (York) - Kingsbury Lane Road $95,000 - Rob Pontau (Windsor) - Hunt Road $17,500 - Whiting - Halls Mills Road $95,000 - Scott's Neck Way Inc. (Ellsworth) - Scott's Neck Way $95,000 - Freeport - Hunter Road $79,800 - Phippsburg - Sam Day Hill Road $95,000 - Dresden - Bog Road $95,000 - Dedham - Upper Dedham Road $95,000 - Fort Kent - Multi -Purpose Heritage Trail $2,500 - Mapleton - Pulcifer Road $95,000 - Newburgh - Dahlia Farm Road $75,661 - Arundel - Downing Road $95,000

For more information including examples of successful applications and the master score sheet for this round please visit Maine DEP's website http://www.maine.gov/dep/land/water_bond_rfp.html



Maine DEP Issues Air Quality Alert for Saturday, May 28, 2016

Fri, 27 May 2016 14:07:51 EDT

(AUGUSTA)-- Ground-level ozone concentrations will be climbing in Maine on Saturday and are expected to reach unhealthy levels along the coast from Kittery through Acadia according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Ozone levels have been in the Unhealthy range for several days this week in Southern New England. Winds are expected to begin transporting these high levels toward Maine after midnight setting the stage for Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups levels of ozone along coastal Maine on Saturday. Moderate levels of ozone are expected for the Western Interior & Western Mountains region. Meanwhile, particle pollution levels will likely reach the Moderate range along the coast from Kittery through Acadia and also in western regions of the state.

At elevated ozone levels, children, healthy adults who exert themselves, and individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, bronchitis or COPD can experience reduced lung function and irritation. When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest.

Some actions you can take to protect your health during periods of unhealthy air quality include:

- Adjusting your schedule to avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the afternoon. - Please consult the Maine CDC website for information on the health impacts of extreme heat and appropriate actions to take (http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/heat/). - The Maine CDC Asthma Prevention and Control Program has asthma information available at their web site: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/mat/index.htm - For more information on asthma control visit EPA's Web site www.epa.gov/asthma to find information about asthma triggers and lessons on asthma management.

In addition to those in a sensitive group, sports coaches, elder care workers, nurses and others who are responsible for the welfare of people impacted by poor air quality are urged to use one of the listed tools to follow the Air Quality Forecast:

- Air Quality Forecast page: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/ which has links to: - EnviroFlash, EPA's email and text alert system, http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/enviroflash.html - Twitter, for sign up information go to: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/twitter.html - EPA's mobile app is available at: http://m.epa.gov/apps/airnow.html - DEP's toll free air quality hotline is 1-800-223-1196

For more information call the contacts listed above or go to DEP's air quality web site http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/



Nominations sought for Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 13:51:54 EDT

*-The annual awards program from the DEP honors entities whose voluntary innovation has resulted in measurable environmental and economic benefits*

AUGUSTA - The Department of Environmental Protection and Governor Paul R. LePage encourages entities that have gone above and beyond required regulations by implementing innovative practices that have meaningful environmental and economic benefits to apply for the State's environmental excellence awards. This is an opportunity for businesses, nonprofits and public entities to be recognized for their extraordinary work to improve and protect Maine's natural resources.

"Job creators grow the economy and help steward Maine's natural resources," said Governor LePage. "The Governor's Awards on Environmental Excellence recognizes leaders who take innovative approaches to protect our natural resources and strengthen our economy. My Administration was proud to have re-launched these awards in order to support the entities that not only move our economy forward, but also ensure that our natural resources are here for future generations."

Nominations are now open for the Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence, which will honor entities that go beyond standard techniques or regulatory requirements to creatively meet environmental challenges or opportunities. The five award categories include: small, medium and large businesses; local, state, federal or tribal entities; and nonprofit organizations.

Award applicants will be asked to explain how their recent project or program was innovative, collaborative and resulted in measurable and meaningful environmental and economic benefits.

Completed Application forms - available on DEP's website at http://www.maine.gov/dep - are due to the department by Friday, June 24, 2016 with the awards being presented by Governor LePage, Commissioner Paul Mercer and members of DEP's senior management in September.

"Our natural resources are the State of Maine's greatest asset and I believe the state's economy can improve while maintaining our environment," said Commissioner Mercer. "The Environmental Excellence Awards celebrate and encourage those Maine businesses, non-profits and public entities who have successfully balanced both."

DEP, with support from Governor LePage, relaunched the dormant environmental awards program in 2012 to recognize Maine's many environmental leaders who are modeling the department's vision of a mutually healthy environment and economy. Information on past winners is available at http://www.maine.gov/dep/govaward

For more information about the Maine Department of Environmental Protection's Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence or to download an application, visit http://www.maine.gov/dep or contact David Madore, Director of Communications, Education and Outreach, at 287-5842 or david.madore@maine.gov.



Celebrate Earth Day with Maine DEP

Fri, 15 Apr 2016 16:09:18 EDT

AUGUSTA - On April 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will host an open house to highlight some of our most popular programs. To celebrate Earth Day’s 46th year, Department staff will take it outside at our Central Office at 28 Tyson Drive in Augusta to share environmental advice and knowledge with visitors.

Get tips to improve your compost program or learn how to start composting at home. Look inside a DEP meteorology station and learn about Maine air quality monitoring programs. Find out how we track water quality on lakes and ponds. Get up close and check out our emergency spill response equipment, truck and boat. Ask the experts how to recycle compact fluorescent bulbs, leftover paint, electronics, and more.

Since 1970 people around the world think globally and act locally to improve the environment. Friends and neighbors across the State will roll up their sleeves in support of Maine's natural resources. DEP staff will also share their expertise at Earth Day activities statewide all week.



Maine DEP Awards over $880,000 to Wetland Projects

Tue, 08 Dec 2015 16:57:02 EST

(AUGUSTA) - Today, the Commissioners of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF), Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (DIF&W) met with federal counterparts from Army Corps, EPA, and US Fish and Wildlife as part of the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program (MNRCP) and approved 8 wetland preservation, restoration and enhancement projects in Central Interior & Midcoast and Southern Maine. In total, over $880,000.00 was awarded through this year's process.

The MNRCP is an alternative compliance strategy for projects affecting wetlands. DEP in collaboration with Army Corps and the Nature Conservancy is committed to this program, which provides applicants affecting wetlands with another compliance tool. Payments are made for development impacts and the MNRCP is the mechanism for aggregating these funds to fund preservation, restoration and enhancement projects. As announced earlier in the year, this year's program stressed wetland restoration and enhancement efforts, though some preservation efforts were also funded.

This year's successful recipients included preservation efforts, such as the Caribou Bog land acquisition proposal by the Orono Land Trust and restoration projects such as the Little River Habitat Restoration project by the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, as well as enhancement projects such as the Walnut Hill-Sousa project by the Three Rivers Land Trust.

As in past years, unallocated funds will be available to applicants next year. As the program moves forward, funding will likely be available for projects throughout more regions of the State.



Maine's New Climate Adaptation Toolkit

Fri, 23 Oct 2015 10:17:46 EDT

(AUGUSTA) - The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is housing a new Climate Adaptation Toolkit on its website. This new Climate Adaptation Toolkit is a Maine-focused, online reference library that provides community leaders with links to key state, federal, and other climate related documents, climate models, data sources, and technical providers, to assist with the work being done throughout the state. Communities in Maine are making the connection between their daily lives and the changes we are seeing in our region's climate. Town leaders, engaged citizens, businesses, universities, and state partners are planning and implementing changes into their communities to adapt to climate change, and by doing so building resilience into their communities. This toolkit is designed to assist in those varied efforts.

The Adaptation Toolkit is organized by audience type, for its ease of use, and is for Maine homeowners, business owners, consultants, resource managers, engaged citizens, public officials, and anyone else who is interested in learning about climate change, or accessing information that will help them integrate best practices into their community, home, or place of work.

DEP's goal is to continue to improve the utility of this toolkit by updating the guidance materials, and engaging with toolkit users directly, to ensure they are getting the key information needed.

For more information, please visit Maine Department of Environmental Protection's Climate Change webpage at http://www.maine.gov/dep/sustainability/climate/index.html



Maine, New Hampshire Officials Confirm European Naiad Infestation in Salmon Falls River

Fri, 23 Oct 2015 10:18:12 EDT

(AUGUSTA) - Biologists from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), together with their New Hampshire counterparts, have confirmed a late September discovery of the invasive species European naiad (scientific name: Najas minor) in a 1040-acre impoundment within Salmon Falls River, a border water body with shorelines in Lebanon and Acton, Maine and Milton, New Hampshire. The impoundment includes Northeast, Milton and Town House Ponds.

Able to overtake native lake habitats by shading and outcompeting ecologically valuable aquatic plants, European naiad grows from an annual seed into 7-foot long plants. A productive, one-acre infestation can generate tens of millions of seeds per season. Dense infestations can alter water chemistry and oxygen levels.

"We're finding well-established populations in Northeast Pond and in the narrow thoroughfare leading to Milton Pond with the thickest growth in northern portions of Northeast Pond," says biologist John McPhedran of the Maine DEP. "It is our immediate objective to monitor the extent of this infestation throughout the entire impoundment so that we can consider response options with New Hampshire for 2016."

The infestation was first documented in early September by an area volunteer citizen scientist. Subsequent monitoring has been provided by trained volunteers coordinated by the York County Soil and Water Conservation District, the local interstate Three Ponds Protective Association, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) and Maine DEP.

European naiad has been confirmed in one small Maine Pond in Kittery and in a handful of New Hampshire water bodies this growing season.

The invasive plant had been documented previously in two New Hampshire water bodies, but populations declined on their own without management, according to Amy Smagula of the New Hampshire DES. "European naiad has not been a common problem species in this area, though with several new infestations documented in New Hampshire in 2015, that may be about to change. It warrants further investigation."

Maine DEP and NH DES have distributed invasive species warning signs to be posted at boat ramps urging boaters to inspect for and remove plant debris before and after accessing the impoundment. Also notified were boat ramp and other land owners, fishing tournament organizers, and fisheries and warden services from both states.

Maine has been fortunate in recent years to remove water bodies from the statewide list of infestations. To date, of Maine's 5,700 named water bodies, only 46 are now documented as infested.



Grants for Wetland Projects Available

Wed, 20 Apr 2016 14:21:59 EDT

(AUGUSTA)- The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting proposals for wetland restoration, enhancement and creation projects to include provisions for climate change, flood protection and resiliency and to improve wildlife habitat.

Beginning April 18, 2016, eligible recipients may apply for grant monies for wetland projects. Applicants must describe how the proposed project meets the following criteria:

- Provides restoration of impacted wetlands, enhancement of existing wetlands, or creation of wetland from upland - Provides habitat for wildlife species, including birds, fish and amphibians - Provides water quality benefits - Demonstrates the technical expertise to implement the wetland restoration project - Demonstrates the capacity to maintain and protect the wetland in the future

For more information please visit Maine DEP's">http://www.maine.gov/dep/land/water_bond_rfp.html">DEP's website or contact Bill Longfellow at .



Grants for Culvert Upgrades Available

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 09:42:20 EST

(AUGUSTA)- In an effort to improve public safety and minimize impacts on water quality and aquatic habitat, The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting proposals for projects to implement public infrastructure improvements at stream crossings, including culvert upgrades.

Beginning February 12, 2016, eligible recipients may apply for grant monies for improvements to public infrastructure. Project proposals must address improvements, modifications, repairs or upgrades to existing culverts or stream crossings. Eligible recipients must describe how the proposed project meets the following criteria:

- Benefits water quality - Improves habitat for wildlife, fish and other aquatic life ( such as through the replacement of blocked or poorly sized culverts or stream crossings) - Improves public safety by reducing risk of infrastructure failure (such as culvert washouts) - Includes provisions for climate resiliency (such as flood protection, prevention and control at the project site and downstream)

A portion of the grant money may be used to cover design and engineering services related to the infrastructure improvements, up to a maximum of 8% of the grant award. The Department reserves the right to provide partial funding of proposed projects. After award of the grant, the DEP will, upon coordination with the recipient, designate a grant money expenditure deadline, and the payment schedule by which the funds will be disbursed. The Department has set a maximum grant award of $95,000.

Eligible recipients for Stream Crossing Public Infrastructure Improvement funds are individuals, businesses, municipalities, unorganized and deorganized townships, counties, soil and water conservation districts, regional planning commissions, watershed districts, and incorporated nonprofit organizations with federal tax exempt status [501(c)(3)]. State and Federal agencies are not eligible recipients. Grant awards cannot be given on culvert replacements that have already occurred. Also, monies from this grant cannot be used for any permanent land acquisitions, conservation easements, etc.

For more information please visit Maine [DEP's website](http://www.maine.gov/dep/land/water_bond_rfp.html) or contact Bill Laflamme at william.n.laflamme@maine.gov