The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting last week reported that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection had removed a climate change report from its website in December 2011.
A DEP spokesman said this week that the report was restored in April 2012, at the request of a citizen. The Center interviewed DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho about the report’s status in June 2012, at which time she did not say it had been restored to the website.
Meanwhile, the Sun Journal criticized the DEP and Commissioner Aho in a recent editorial, saying her excuse of lacking computer space “had bogus written all over it.”
Spokeswoman Samantha Depoy-Warren said the report was originally eliminated as part of an effort to streamline the department’s website and improve its navigation.
It was restored to the site when a citizen requested that it be and, indeed, it can be found there today.
So, we temper our criticism of the DEP and commissioner Aho a bit in light of the correction.
But the larger point remains uncontested: The department two years ago stopped a planning process to help Maine communities prepare for rising seas and other climate changes.
The DEP, in a letter this year to the Legislature, said all stakeholders should continue working off the 2009 report and “The limited resources of all stakeholders should be targeted toward continued implementation, rather than further document development.”
Of course, “document development” was not the goal of further planning, it was to find ways to enact the original plan.
The DEP feels its approach is sufficient, while some of the people involved in the original effort say it is both inefficient and ineffective.
Time will tell which side was right.
Sun Journal, Lewiston (Nov. 25)