Maine AG issues no opinion on DEP commissioner; EPA looking into matter

Posted April 06, 2011, at 6:07 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s attorney general is declining to issue an opinion on whether Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Darryl Brown is eligible to serve under a state conflict-of-interest law.

William Schneider said Wednesday there was no need to respond to a request from House Democrats because the Environmental Protection Agency already is looking into the matter under federal law, which mirrors Maine law. Schneider said his office would formally respond to the EPA inquiry.

At issue is a state law that prevents someone who receives 10 percent of income from federal clean water permits for two consecutive years from serving as Maine DEP commissioner.

Brown, who runs an environmental consulting business, has said his earnings do not meet the 10 percent threshold. He has been on the job since February.