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Home > Weekly Notices > April 27, 2011

April 27, 2011

WEEKLY NOTICES OF STATE RULE-MAKING
Public Input for Proposed and Adopted Rules

Notices are published each Wednesday to alert the public regarding state agency rule-making. You may obtain a copy of any rule by notifying the agency contact person. You may also comment on the rule, and/or attend the public hearing. If no hearing is scheduled, you may request one -- the agency may then schedule a hearing, and must do so if 5 or more persons request it. If you are disabled or need special services to attend a hearing, please notify the agency contact person at least 7 days prior to it. Petitions: you can petition an agency to adopt, amend, or repeal any rule; the agency must provide you with petition forms, and must respond to your petition within 60 days. The agency must enter rule-making if the petition is signed by 150 or more registered voters, and may begin rule-making if there are fewer. You can also petition the Legislature to review a rule; the Executive Director of the Legislative Council (115 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333, phone 207/287-1615) will provide you with the necessary petition forms. The appropriate legislative committee will review a rule upon receipt of a petition from 100 or more registered voters, or from "...any person who may be directly, substantially and adversely affected by the application of a rule..." (Title 5 Section 11112). World-Wide Web: Copies of the weekly notices and the full texts of adopted rule chapters may be found on the internet at: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules. There is also a list of rule-making liaisons, who are single points of contact for each agency.


PROPOSALS



AGENCY: 02-318 - Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (P&FR), Office of Licensing and Registration (OLR), Electricians’ Examining Board
CHAPTER NUMBERS AND TITLES:
Ch. 120, Electric Installation Standards
Ch. 135, Electrical Permits
PROPOSED RULE NUMBER: 2011-P37, P38
CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING: Cheryl Hersom, Board Administrator, Office of Licensing and Registration, 35 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333. Telephone: (207) 624-8605. E-mail: Cheryl.C.Hersom@Maine.gov .
CONTACT PERSON FOR SMALL BUSINESS INFORMATION: Same as above
PUBLIC HEARING: May 20, 2011, 9:00 a.m., Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, 76 Northern Avenue, Gardiner, Maine
COMMENT DEADLINE: May 31, 2011
BRIEF SUMMARY: The proposed amendments to Ch. 120 conform the National Electrical Code for Maine to the release of the 2011 edition of the National Electrical Code ("NEC"). The 2011 NEC replaces the 2008 NEC, on which this chapter is currently based. Proposed Ch. 135 eliminates the ability of an electrical company to apply for an electrical permit. Under this chapter, application may only be made by an individual master electrician or limited electrician.
DETAILED BASIS STATEMENT / SUMMARY:
Chapter 120: Analysis and expected operation
The proposed amendments to Ch. 120 conform the National Electrical Code for Maine to the release of the 2011 edition of the National Electrical Code ("NEC"). The 2011 NEC replaces the 2008 NEC, on which Ch. 120 is currently based.
This proposed amendments to Ch. 120 change various provisions of the 2011 NEC in recognition of Maine conditions not reflected in the national rule. The changes are shown in the following:
2(A), 2(C): NEC 210.5(C) and 215.12(C) deal with identification of branch circuits and feeders, respectively. The exceptions taken in this chapter disallow documentation as a permitted method of identification. Field experience has shown that this is not a reliable method of identification.
2(D), 2(E): The exception taken to NEC 334.10(3) and the non-adoption of NEC 334(12(A)(2) provide for less restrictive requirements for the installation of Type NM-B cable. This is a common inexpensive cable type and wiring method. This action will result in considerable cost savings to building owners without jeopardizing the safety or persons or property.
2(B): The exception in the current rules to NEC 210.8(A)(5) is no longer needed. The purpose of the exception was to prevent a flooded basement because of nuisance tripping of a GFCI receptacle. The exception is no longer needed because standards for manufacture of these devices have changed and nuisance tripping is no longer a problem.
2(F) and 2(H) – 2(Q): The ten exceptions in the current rules relating to securing and supporting raceway systems and the exception to NEC 338.10(4)(a) are no longer needed due to changes in the 2011 edition of the NEC. The 2011 changes reflect the intent of the exceptions.
2(G): The exceptions taken to NEC 338.12(B)(1) and (2) result in a rule less restrictive than the NEC by permitting extension of USE cable to the first termination at a building or structure. This generates savings to the owner in that equipment for transitioning to a different wiring method is not necessary.
2(R): NEC 702.4 requires that when automatic transfer equipment is used with a generator, the generator must be sized to carry the entire transferred load. The exception to this section exempts single-family dwellings from this requirement, resulting in substantial savings to homeowners.
The exceptions to the NEC made in this chapter do not/will not adversely affect the public safety.
Chapter 135
Proposed Ch. 135 eliminates the ability of an electrical company to apply for an electrical permit. Under this chapter, application may only be made by an individual master electrician or limited electrician.
Title 32 MRSA §1102-B(1) of the electricians licensing law requires the “person making the installation” to be the person applying for a permit. Under current practice, the board accepts permit applications from electrical companies, master electricians and limited electricians. Although an electrical company license must be validated by a master electrician or limited electrician, current law imposes no supervisory responsibility on the validating master licensee. As a consequence, some company licenses are validated by a master or limited electrician who has no knowledge of or personal involvement in the work performed by the company. On information and belief, such validating masters or limited licensees may be retired from the trade and living out-of-state. Such absentee validating masters or limited licensees may be compensated by journeyman electricians who apply for permits in the name of the company—in essence, be paid solely for the use of their name and license number. The proposed rule will: (a) require the electrician performing the installation to apply for a permit and prohibit electrical companies with absentee validators from applying for permits, (b) impose responsibility for compliance with the laws and rules governing electricians on the individual master electrician or limited electrician who applies for a permit, and (c) enhance public safety by ensuring supervision of the installation by the validating master or limited electrician.
The proposed rule responds to enforcement difficulties faced by the board inspectors when investigating electrical installations that violate the Maine electrical code. In some cases, board staff has been unable to identify the electrician who performed the installation with sufficient certainty to bring a complaint for safety violations. In some cases, a master or limited electrician has denied any knowledge of or participation in an installation that was authorized by a permit obtained by the electrical company for which such master or limited electrician was the validating licensee. This is an abuse of the licensing law that undercuts accountability for substandard installations and jeopardizes public safety.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THESE RULES: 32 MRSA §§ 1102-B(2) and (4), 1153, 1153-A
IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES OR COUNTIES: None
SUBSTANTIVE STATE OR FEDERAL LAW BEING IMPLEMENTED (if different):
WEBSITE: http://www.maine.gov/pfr/professionallicensing/professions/electricians/index.htm
OLR RULE-MAKING LIAISON: Jeffrey.M.Frankel@Maine.gov .



AGENCY: 06-096 - Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Ch. 375, No Adverse Environmental Effect Standard of the Site Location Law, Section 10: Control of Noise, Sound Level Limits and Measurements for Wind Turbine Projects
PROPOSED RULE NUMBER: 2011-P39
CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING: James Cassida, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, 17 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333. Telephone: (207) 446-1611. Fax: (207) 287-7826. E-mail: James.Cassida@Maine.gov .
CONTACT PERSON FOR SMALL BUSINESS INFORMATION: N/A
PUBLIC HEARING: Thursday, May 19, 2011 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive, Augusta, Maine. The morning will be allocated primarily to receiving expert testimony on the technical aspects of the proposed rule. The afternoon will be allocated primarily to receiving testimony from the interested public on the proposed rule. The proposed rule is available on the Board’s webpage at http://www.maine.gov/dep/bep/index.htm . The hearing is on the proposed noise rule, not on particular wind power developments.
Given the highly technical nature of some aspects of the proposed rule, the Board encourages persons to file technical information in advance of the hearing and to be present at the hearing to address questions from the Board on the substance of their filing. All testimony filed with the Board prior to Thursday, May 5, 2011 will be posted on the Board’s webpage at http://www.maine.gov/dep/bep/index.htm by May 10, 2011 for review by interested persons prior to the hearing.
COMMENT DEADLINE: The deadline for comment on the petitioners’ proposed rule is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 3, 2011. Comments may be submitted by mail, e-mail or fax. To ensure that the comments are considered, they must include your name and the organization you represent, if any.
BRIEF SUMMARY: The Maine Administrative Procedure Act, 5 MRSA §8055(3), states: “Whenever a petition to adopt or modify a rule is submitted by 150 or more registered voters of the State, the agency shall initiate appropriate rulemaking proceedings within 60-days after receipt of the petition.”
The citizen petition seeks to amend Ch. 375 Section 10, Control of Noise, by including a new subsection entitled “Sound Level Limits and Measurements for Wind Turbine Projects. The citizen petition proposes to amendment the Department rule to establish noise standards specific to wind energy developments including: (1) predictive modeling requirements; (2) maximum sound limits for nighttime operations; (3) Short-term Duration Repetitive Sounds (SDRS); (4) noise easements; (5) post-construction compliance requirements; and (6) noise complaint response.
IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES OR COUNTIES:
STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THIS RULE: 5 MRSA §8055(3) and 38 MRSA §341-D(1-B)
SUBSTANTIVE STATE OR FEDERAL LAW BEING IMPLEMENTED:
DEP RULE-MAKING LIAISON: Terry.Dawson@Maine.gov .


ADOPTIONS



AGENCY: 01-001 - Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Ch. 37, Voluntary Municipal Farm Support Program
ADOPTED RULE NUMBER: 2011-124
CONCISE SUMMARY: The program allows a municipality to choose to enter into farm support arrangements with the owners of qualified farmland in order to protect and support local farms, preserve farmland and reduce the potential tax burdens from new development. The rules will govern how municipalities may make such farm support arrangements.
EFFECTIVE DATE: May 23, 2011
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: Stephanie Gilbert, Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, 28 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333. Telephone: (207) 287-7576. E-mail: Stephanie.Gilbert@Maine.gov .
WEBSITE: http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/index.shtml
AGRICULTURE RULE-MAKING LIAISON: Caldwell.Jackson@Maine.gov .