Marine Resources Department Considers Changes To Aquaculture Lease Permitting Rules

Jan 3, 2019

Maine’s Department of Marine Resources is proposing changes in its permitting rules for some aquaculture leases, as farmed shellfish operations in Maine continue to see robust growth. Many of the changes aim at eliminating redundancies or outdated language, but some are substantive.

DMR spokesman Jeff Nichols says one proposal would require applicants for standard leases to pre-file a draft proposal before presenting it at a public “scoping session.” That would give regulators and neighbors a better chance to weigh in on how the project might affect other uses of the same water resources.

“Taking the steps necessary before the final application is submitted to have that back-and-forth with the department and to have an informed dialogue with the public during the scoping session, so it’s just an attempt to make sure the process is more efficient for all parties,” he says.

Another measure would limit the number of lease applications that can be made simultaneously by a single party.

A series of public hearings on the proposals are set for later this month.

This story originally stated that 3-year leases would require a pre-filed draft. Standard leases have this requirement.