AUGUSTA, Maine — The state Department of Environmental Protection has shortened wait times for issuing development permits, the agency indicated Monday in a prepared statement.
In 2010, DEP averaged 24 days to process and issue permits from its Bureau of Land and Water Quality Division of Land Resource Regulation, according to the release. That average wait time decreased to 22 days in 2011 and to 20 days in 2012 for an overall reduction of four days over two years. DEP received approximately 3,700 permit applications last year.
In the release, DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho said that shortening waiting periods for permits was one of her priorities for 2012.
“Our staff have a growing appreciation for the importance of our roles on the front lines of environmental protection and economic development, and making meaningful, measurable contributions toward both,” Aho said in the release.
DEP indicated that it also reduced its backlog of minor source air permits dating back to 2006 by 92 percent.
Among the development projects in the state that recently received DEP permits are a $48 million wood pellet manufacturing facility at Great Northern Paper in Millinocket; a $44 million expansion and upgrade of Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport; and an $11 million redevelopment of the Shops at Biddeford Crossing into a Market Basket supermarket, according to the release.
More information is available online at the DEP website.