DEP Pushed To Tighten Deadlines On Dams 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Lawmakers want more scrutiny of the Department of Environmental Protection after the agency missed several deadlines for the relicensing of dams in Maine.

The Portland Press-Herald, reports a bill unanimously approved by the Legislative Council would require the agency to report to the Legislature on upcoming relicensing deadlines and make sure there is enough public input into the process. The measure could be considered in the legislative session that begins in January.

The department has missed three deadlines in the past two years for dams at Flagstaff Lake and on the St. Croix River.

By missing those deadlines, critics say the state surrendered its authority to establish water levels that impact property owners, recreational activities and wildlife.

DEP managers have attributed the missed deadlines to several factors including staff reductions and miscommunication.