Environmental Permits

Environmental iconFacilities Management oversees the following permits that are the regulatory framework for the UMaine campus. These permits directly effect energy conservation, efficient utilization and the environmental impact on our campus and surrounding community.

Air Emission License Chapter 137 and Title 5

The Chapter 137 Air Emission License Maine Department of of Environmental Protection covers air emissions into the atmosphere from fuel to burning equipment and certain chemical processes, such as printing and the pulp and paper process. In all cases, licenses are issued with an emphasis on operating efficient systems to reduce emissions. To this effect, print making operations, individual building boiler operations, steam plant boiler operations, and research that creates emissions are engineered to efficiently use fuels/raw materials to emit specific volumes of pollutants to meet our permit and minimize our environmental impact related to these operations. Various inspections, employee training, and maintaining efficient operations are required to comply with this permit.

Five-year permit: Effective July 1, 2013

 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP – Industrial Activities)

The SWPPP is a permit issued by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to prevent contaminants from entering the storm sewer system and ultimately the ground water system. UMaine surrendered its SWPPP permit and administratively incorporated the original plan into UMaine’s MS4 permit. The plan is covered under the 1987 amendments to the EPA Clean Water Act,EPA 1990 stormwater permit process, and the 1992 EPA baseline general permit. Preventing and eliminating the discharge of pollutants to stormwater minimizes the environmental impact of the two operations covered by this plan, our motor freight transportation and warehousing operation and scrap metal recycling operations. Both of these operations occur outside and are exposed to rain and snow melt with potential to create polluted run-off to the Penobscot River. Performing quarterly inspections, employee training, maintenance of select best management practices, and mitigating any non-compliant and polluting practices are required to comply with this plan.

A component of MS4

Maine Pollution Discharge elimination System (MEPDES) Permit

Waste discharge licenses (or “permits”) are issued by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, consistent with the rules of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, to individuals or entities that desire to discharge pollutants directly to the waters of the State. UMaine discharges swimming pool water monthly to the Stillwater River under the MEPDES permit as the cost of connecting the existing infrastructure to sanitary sewer is cost prohibitive. Under the permit, pool water is discharged from the Wallace Pool after it meets MEDEP set maximums for pH, total suspended solids and chlorine to reduce our environmental impact by preventing the pollution and degradation of the Stillwater River. Quarterly tests, employee training, and proper maintenance of the pool system are required to comply with the permit.

Current five year MEPDES permit: Effective July, 2013

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)

 The MS4 general permit authorizes the direct discharge of stormwater from or associated with a regulated small MS4 operated by a State or Federally-owned regulated small MS4 to a MS4 or waters of the State other than groundwater. Discharges must meet the requirements of this general permit and applicable provisions of Maine’s waste discharge and water classification statutes and rules. This general permit authorizes discharges in thos parts of Maine for which the MEDEP has received delegated authority under the federal MPDES program. Stormwater leaves the 647 acre main campus via stormwater sewers, gullies, swales, and infiltration. Numerous BMPs are implemented consistent with the required six minimum control measures to educate and involve the population about stormwater and its effects, properly maintain hazardous and chemical pollutants, control and mitigate construction run-off (projects one acre or more, good housekeeping, illicit discharge detection, and post construction conveyances management, inspection and maintenance. Purpose of permit is to minimize non-point source pollution to water bodies from run-off and reduce the environmental impact of our stormwater from primarily impervious surfaces. Periodic inspections, infrastructure inventory and maintenance, outfall inspections, illicit discharge detection and mitigation, employee training, and general public education and participation are required to comply with the permit.

For more information on UMaine’s Stormwater Management click here

The University of Maine has filed a Notice of Intent (NOI) to comply with the General Permit for the Discharge of Stormwater from Small Municipal Storm Sewer Systems with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Click here for the full Notice of Intent to Comply.

Current five year general permit: Effective November, 2008

 Site Location of Development Act (SLODA)

This legislation was crated in 1970 and updated in 1975 to its current requirement for developments that exceed certain size limitations to be subject to the control of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP). The purpose of SLODA is to provide a method for the State to control the location of development which will substantially affect the local environment and ensure that such developments will have a minimal impact on the natural environment within the site on its surroundings. Once permitted, UMaine must request permission for any change in impervious areas. UMaine was subjected to an after-the-fact permit, which reviewed 27 different impacts. Numerous impacts relate to environmental impact, such as stormwater management, air emissions, groundwater, waste management, wildlife and fisheries, surface drainage and run-off, and more. Implementing engineering controls, BMPs and compliance strategies in place for related environmental permitting reduces the environmental impact of our development and ongoing use/management/maintenance of our infrastructure. Employee training, project permitting, and proper/compliant design and development techniques are required to comply with this permit.

Current permit: Effective January, 1998
(amended on a per project basis)

Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures Plan (SPCC)

The purpose of UMaine’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plan (SPCC) is to prevent the discharge of oil into or upon the navigable waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines. UMaine’s primary concern regarding this Plan is the prevention of a discharge of oil to navigable waters via surface water run-off and storm/floor drains. The UMaine SPCC Plan is delineated into six sub-plans: Dining Services; Facility Buildings; Service/Garage; Steam Plant; Transformer; and Witter Center.  The administrator of each sub-plan is responsible for ensuring their staff carries out the responsibilities as detailed in their sub-plans. At any time, UMaine has more than 240,000 gallons of petroleum and vegetable based oils on site covered by this plan. Specified BMPs are employed within the areas managed by the six sub-plans focusing on spill prevention and mitigation, such as secondary containment, spill response equipment and procedures, and detection equipment, and infrastructure upgrades to reduce and eliminate the discharge of oil to the waters of Maine and reduce the environmental impact of operations utilizing oils. Employee training, monthly and annual inspections, good housekeeping, and BMP implementation and maintenance are required to comply with this program. A Memorandum of Agreement with MEDEP for clean-up by owner is also maintained.

Current five year permit: Effective November, 2008

 Wetland Regulations

Impacts to wetlands are regulated by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Maine DEP) and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), and may be regulated at the municipal level depending upon the resource.

Rules and regulations that apply to wetland and other resource alterations include the Maine Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA), Maine Site Location Law, Maine Mandatory Shoreland Zoning Act, and the federal Clean Water Act.Wetland impacts to a property are cumulative with each new impact adding to the total.  Based upon current cumulative impacts at the University of Maine campus, any future impacts will require a NRPA permit from the Maine DEP and a Permit from the ACOE.  These permits may take up to 120 days for approval once the application is received and deemed complete.  In addition, a modification to the University’s existing Site Location permit may be needed depending upon the project.  A permit may also be required from the town if the project occurs within the shoreland zone.

The placement of fill material within a wetland constitutes an impact under both the NRPA and Clean Water Act.  In addition, clearing of vegetation within a wetland with or without soil disturbance is considered an impact under the NRPA with exceptions related to activities such as timber management and agriculture.  A permit also may be required for soil disturbance adjacent to (within 75 to 100 feet) a protected resource such as a stream or marsh.

Prior to moving earth or clearing vegetation on a campus property, make sure to contact Facilities Management to review permitting requirements.  Facilities Management has a map showing identified wetlands for much of the campus and should be contacted prior to initiating construction activities.

Permits issued as needed