Senate Swiftly Moves to Correct Online Burn Permit Issue

Contact:
Krysta West
Communications Director
Senate Republican Office
(207) 287-1505
krysta.west@legislature.maine.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUGUSTA- The Maine Senate today voted in support of Senator Tom Saviello’s (R-Franklin) bill – LD 1640 – to allow the issuance of open burn permits online by private organizations in a bipartisan, unanimous vote.

Just last week the Maine Forest Service announced a policy change disallowing the online distribution of open burn permits by private websites, impacting more than 70 municipalities and thousands of Maine residents. Prior to the rule change, open burn permits could be purchased through the State’s website for a fee of $7 to the applicant or through one of two private websites, free of charge.

“As soon as this rule was changed, I immediately began hearing from fire chiefs and residents who prefer using the private websites and would like to continue doing so,” said Sen. Saviello. “These private websites are providing a valuable service and are allowing municipalities to save money and streamline how they issue burn permits, which gives them more control and flexibility. Many residents also prefer the free services over the State website that charges a fee and is less convenient.

“I’m glad we were able to move quickly to give this bill a unanimous vote today. We feel strongly that fire chiefs should have the ability to choose how they issue burn permits and that mandating a fee for the online service could result in fewer people seeking permits to burn. I would like to thank my colleagues for passing this emergency bill with a strong, bipartisan vote.”

LD 1640 will now go to the House for consideration before returning to the Senate for final enactment.

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