Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

Home > Weekly Rule-making Notices > November 28, 2012

November 28, 2012

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: There is also a list of rule-making liaisons, who are single points of contact for each agency.


AGENCY: 94-293 - Baxter State Park
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Ch. 1, Baxter State Park Rules and Regulations: Rule 2.1, Biking and Day Use
BRIEF SUMMARY: Current Rule 2.1: Prior registration is required for day use groups of 12 or more people. Registration may be made by telephone beginning April I, and should be made as far in advance as possible.
Proposed Rule: The maximum size of a hiking group shall be 12 persons. Affiliated or associated hikers on the same trail separated by less than one mile shall be considered one group.
The current rule is non-specific and enforceable by Park staff in situ and requires no administration or record transfer. The proposed rule will more effectively protect Park resources and is consistent with other US wilderness areas.
DETAILED BASIS STATEMENT / SUMMARY: The current rule is non-specific, difficult to enforce and requires administration, record keeping and record transfer. The current rule has not protected Park resources.
The proposed rule is specific and enforceable by Park staff in situ and requires no administration or record transfer. The proposed rule will more effectively protect Park resources.
COMMENT DEADLINE: December 28, 2012
CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING / SMALL BUSINESS INFORMATION / AGENCY RULE-MAKING LIAISON: Ada Angotti, 64 Balsam Drive, Millinocket, ME 04462. Telephone: (207) 723-9500. E-mail: .

AGENCY: 10-148 - Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Child and Family Services
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Ch. 6, Child Care Subsidy Program Rules
BRIEF SUMMARY: The rule proposes to clarify program definitions and program eligibility standards.
PUBLIC HEARING: None unless requested by 5 or more interested parties.
COMMENT DEADLINE: Comments must be received by midnight Friday, December 28, 2012.
CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING / SMALL BUSINESS INFORMATION: Kristopher Michaud, Child Care Services Team Leader, DHHS, 11 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333. Telephone: (207) 624-7917. E-mail: .
IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES OR COUNTIES: this rule will not have a fiscal impact on municipalities.

AGENCY: 10-144 - Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Environmental Health, Radiation Control Program
RULE TITLE OR SUBJECT: Ch. 223, Maine Rules Relating to Tanning Facilities
CONCISE SUMMARY: The proposed revisions to the State of Maine Rules for Tanning Facilities further restrict the use of tanning machines by minors, require training for operators of tanning facilities, and increase the annual registration fees for tanning facilities.
PUBLIC MEETING/HEARING: December 19, 2012 at 10:00 a.m., DWP Conference Room, 3rd Floor of Key Bank Plaza, 286 Water Street, Augusta, Maine
DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: December 31, 2012
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: Tera Pare, J.D., Rulemaking Coordinator, Maine Division of Environmental Health, 11 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0011. Telephone: (207) 287-5680. TTY: 207-287-5550. E-mail: .
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 22 M.R.S. §§ 674(4)(D), 677, 680, 682, 683 & 690; 2009 Resolve, c. 119

AGENCY: 06-096 - Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Ch. 200, Metallic Mineral Exploration, Advanced Exploration and Mining
BRIEF SUMMARY: The portions of the existing metallic mineral mining rule addressing exploration and advanced exploration activities are proposed to be amended to update and clarify application requirements. The Department is undertaking this routine technical rulemaking in response to the direction of PL 2011 ch. 653, §31, paragraph 2. Copies of these rules are available upon request by contacting the Agency contact person or on the DEP website at .
PUBLIC HEARING: December 18, 2012, 1:00 p.m., DEP Response Training Room, 4 Blossom Lane, (AMHI Complex), Augusta, Maine
COMMENT DEADLINE: The deadline for receipt of written comments on the proposed rule is 5 p.m., January 18, 2013. Please include your name and the organization you represent, if any.
CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS RULE / SMALL BUSINESS INFORMATON: George MacDonald, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, 17 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0017. Telephone: (207) 287-2870. Fax: (207) 287-7826. E-mail: . DEP rules website: .
STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR RULE: 38 M.R.S. §§ 341-D, 490-NN, and PL 2011 ch. 653 §31

AGENCY: 12-172 - Department of Labor, Maine Unemployment Compensation Commission
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Ch. 27, Work-Share Rules (New)
BRIEF SUMMARY: Public Law 2011, ch. 91, “An Act to Implement a Maine Unemployment Insurance Work-sharing Program,” is a new law that provides employers with a voluntary alternative to layoffs during a temporary slowdown in business. An employer may elect to avoid layoffs by reducing the number of regularly scheduled hours of work for all workers in a specific unit or department or the business as a whole. Unemployment insurance benefits for the reduced hours of work are then payable as a proportion of the benefit amount for a full week of unemployment. The proposed rules describe the process needed to carry out the intent of the legislation. The proposed rules were reviewed by the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development committee in February, 2012.
DETAILED BASIS STATEMENT / SUMMARY: Public Law 2011 Ch. 91 (LD 269) passed in the 1st Regular Session of the 125th Legislature. This law creates a brand new process that requires rules to appropriately carry out the intent of the legislation. The following information provides a detailed explanation of the terms of the proposed rules:
1. Define two elements of the Work-share Program: The first of these is “Substantial Change”. (Section 6 of the Law allows an employer to modify an approved Work-sharing plan when the change is “not substantial” by simply notifying the Department of Labor (Department) (as long as there is agreement by the collective bargaining agent if applicable). If the conditions of the change are “substantial”, the revised plan must be submitted to the Department for approval before putting the changes into effect. A further reduction of the plan’s work hours for no more than two weeks or increasing the work hours of all plan covered employees to full time does not require pre-approval by the department. Further reducing the approved plan weekly work hours for more than two weeks or changing the specific employees named or the agreed upon work hours for some but not all of the named employees under the plan (either up or down), is considered substantial change and requires the submission of a plan modification.) The second element defines the potential end date for a plan. The Law allows a plan to last for 12 full calendar months after the approval date. The plan can end sooner if so desired by the employer. The definition in the Proposed Rule states that the plan end will coincide with the end of the last full benefit week of the 12th full month. This will mean that the plan end will coincide with the end of a benefit week, and a partial week of eligibility will be avoided. The Department feels that determining eligibility under differing requirements would not be feasible in a week that is divided into a partial Work-share week and a partial regular unemployment week. By ending on the same day as the end of a benefit week, the unemployment program determining eligibility requirements for any given week would be clear.
2. Employer’s application for participation in the plan: The Law requires that each affected unit, as defined in the Law, be submitted on a separate application, and that a new application must be submitted for each modification. It further clarifies that the plan beginning and ending dates must coincide with a benefit week. A plan must begin on a Sunday and end on a Saturday.
3. Prohibits an individual from receiving benefits through more than one Work-sharing program: This requirement is needed in order to mirror the weekly claim requirement of the regular state unemployment program. Normally, an individual is only allowed to file one claim for benefits each week; this prevents the payment of a weekly claim more than once. Similarly, under Work-sharing, the Department can still only process one weekly claim per person each week. If an individual was on multiple plans for multiple employers, they would need to submit more than one weekly claim. This situation is not likely to occur, as it would require one individual to be working at or near full-time for different companies that both apply for the Work-sharing program. Nonetheless, the possibility exists and must be accounted for.
4. Provides guidance on the claimant’s initial application for benefits: It requires that both the employer and the employee provide and certify information, and return it to the Bureau as directed. It is our intent that at least initially, all Work-sharing applications and claims be in paper form as opposed to filed via the telephone or Internet. This is because Work-sharing eligibility is determined by information provided by both the employer and the claimant. The filing process is very similar to the process that we currently use for temporary plant shutdowns, in which we use the Claim for Unemployment Benefits and Earnings Report (“Green Slip”). It is our hope to automate these processes at some point but we will not initially have this capacity.
5. Weekly claims processing: Requires that the employer and the claimant provide and certify information on the same claim form, and that a separate claim form must be submitted for each week. In addition, similar to the regular state unemployment claims process, all weekly claims must be filed within 14 days of the week end date, or within 21 days if good cause for missing the first 14 days can be shown. Subparagraph D further states that the weekly claim must be submitted in a format prescribed by the Department. As with the initial application, the current plan is for a paper application. The language in the Proposed Rule would allow for future automation, however.
6. Work-Share benefits: Links the monetary eligibility for unemployment to that of the regular state unemployment program and further states that eligibility for Work-sharing benefits is based on a full week of eligibility. The paragraph goes on to clarify that any claim submitted that is not eligible as Work-sharing shall automatically be processed as a claim for regular unemployment benefits. In that instance, all regular state unemployment requirements with the exception of work search, will apply. This means that the individual must be able and available for work, and will have any earnings (after the first $25) deducted from the full weekly benefit amount. The final subparagraph requires that all earnings of the individual be reported each week. This includes earnings from the Work-sharing employer, as well as from any other work. Work-sharing benefits will not typically be reduced by earnings from a different employer unless the claimant fails to satisfy the eligibility requirements for Work-sharing (in which case, the claim is processed under the regular state unemployment program and the partial earnings benefit offset is applied).
7. Charging of benefits: The Work-sharing employer incurs the applicable benefit cost application for benefits paid under the approved Work-sharing plan. If the Work-sharing employer is a contributory (or unemployment tax-paying) employer, the benefits paid out under the Work-sharing program will be charged against the employer’s contribution rate experience. If the employer is direct reimbursement (Local or State Government, Indian Tribe Government or certain nonprofit organization), then the employer pays the full cost of the unemployment benefits.
8. Overpayment: The final paragraph of the Proposed Rules allows for the collection of benefit overpayments, or those paid erroneously, through all of the normal collection methods used by the Department.
PUBLIC HEARING: There will be no public hearing.
COMMENT DEADLINE: Friday, December 28, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.
CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING / SMALL BUSINESS INFORMATION / DOL RULE-MAKING LIAISON: Susan Wasserott, Maine Department of Labor, 54 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0054. Telephone: (207) 621-5096. E-mail: .
IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES OR COUNTIES: Only if a municipal employer was considering a layoff of employees. If so, work-share would provide them with another option that would minimize the impact on individuals.


AGENCY: 01-303 – Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Pull Events Commission
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Ch. 15, Rules for Superintendents and Assistant Superintendents of Pull Events, Section 5: Responsibilities of Pull Superintendents and Assistant Pull Superintendents, Sub-section 1: A, B, C and D
CONCISE SUMMARY This rule change sets forth in rule what had been implemented as policy which could not be enforced by the Commission. Further, it provides a visual evaluation of the body condition of animals in determining what constitutes pulling animals being too thin to compete.
EFFECTIVE DATE: November 25, 2012
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON: Henry Jackson, Maine State Harness Racing Commission / Pull Events Commission, 28 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0028. Telephone: (207) 287-3221. E-mail: .

AGENCY: 65-407 - Public Utilities Commission (PUC)
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Ch. 110, Rules of Practice and Procedures
CONCISE SUMMARY: The PUC adopts amendments to the Commissions Rules of Practice and Procedure (Ch. 110) to bring it in compliance with statutory requirements as well as to reflect current Commission practice.
EFFECTIVE DATE: November 26, 2012
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON / PUC RULE-MAKING LIAISON: Paula J. Cyr, Public Utilities Commission, 18 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0018. Telephone: (207) 287-3831. E-mail: .

AGENCY: 94-348 - Maine Human Rights Commission (MHRC)
Ch. 2, Procedural Rule
Ch. 6, Accessibility Requirements for Public Accommodations and Places of Employment
Ch. 7, Accessibility Regulations of the MHRC
ADOPTED RULE NUMBER: 2012-332, 333, 334
CONCISE SUMMARY: The adopted amendments to Ch. 2 change the term “Compliance Officer” to “Compliance Manager,” which is necessitated by a staffing change, and provide for the adoption of a third-party neutral mediation program. The adopted amendments to Ch. 7 incorporate the new accessibility standards in the Maine Human Rights Act, 5 M.R.S. §4594-G, compliance with which became mandatory on March 15, 2012; the new MHRA definition of “service animal” in public accommodations, which took effect September 28, 2011; and the revised federal Department of Justice regulations interpreting Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (covering nondiscrimination by “public accommodations”), which went into effect on March 15, 2011 with building standards that became mandatory on March 15, 2012. Ch. 6 has been repealed because it contained outdated (pre-1996) accessible building standards.
EFFECTIVE DATE: November 26, 2012
AGENCY CONTACT PERSON / MHRC RULE-MAKING LIAISON: John P. Gause, Commission Counsel, Maine Human Rights Commission, 51 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0051. Telephone: (207) 624-6290. E-mail: .