Maine Department of Environmental Protection
About Maine Department of Environmental Protection
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is responsible for protecting and restoring Maine's natural resources and enforcing the state's environmental laws. The agency can trace its roots back to the Sanitary Water Board that was created in 1941. The purpose of that Board was to study, investigate, recommend means of eliminating and preventing pollution in waters used for recreational purposes. The Board was renamed the Water Improvement Commission in 1951. In 1969, the Commission's title was abbreviated to the Environmental Improvement Commission.
On July 1, 1972, legislation re-designated the Commission as the Board of Environmental Protection and created a new Department of Environmental Protection, consisting of a commissioner and three program bureaus: Air Quality, Land Quality Control, and Water Quality Control. Over the years, the Department has continued to evolve to its current organization consisting of the the Commissioner's Office and four bureaus which administer the Department's environmental programs: Air Quality, Land Resources, Remediation and Waste Management and Water Quality. The Board of Environmental Protection is a citizen's board of seven members nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Legislature that performs major substantive rulemaking, makes decisions on select permit applications and appeals of Commissioner licensing and enforcement actions, and provides a forum for public participation in department decisions.