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LePage's Environment Head Will Honor "Green" Bottled Water Co., Skip Over Legal, Ethical Challenges

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:37 PM
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LePage's Environment Head Will Honor "Green" Bottled Water Co., Skip Over Legal, Ethical Challenges

Pohlman credits Brown with trying to spotlight environmentally-conscious businesses. But she says that awards are no substitute for strong environmental laws--which she worries that Republicans and the LePage administration are trying to weaken. Her group is focusing on more than 50 bills, ranging, she says, from a repeal of an energy efficiency code standard to the abolishing of the Land Use Regulation Commission.

Other groups have focused more on Brown's alleged conflict of interest. Among them is the Androscoggin River Alliance, which prompted the federal Environmental Protection Agency to look into the issue. Fearing that it might take months to get an answer from the EPA, Democratic House Minority Leader Emily Cain asked the same thing of the Maine Attorney General's Office.

"Under the state statute, it specifically says that a person may not serve as commissioner who receives during the two years prior to appointment a significant portion of their income directly or indirectly from license or permit-holders or applicants for license or permits under the federal water pollution control act," Cain says. State law says that the environmental protection commissioner cannot have made more than 10 percent of their income from permits or licenses issued under the federal law. A spokeswoman for the AG's office says it will be issuing a response to the House Democrats "very soon," but could not say when.


In the meantime, he reassured his 400-plus staffers in an e-mail Monday that he has no plans to go anywhere, and that he wants to make Maine a place that is good for the environment and business. He spent part of the day at a South Portland middle school promoting a statewide contest to encourage students to reduce their waste, co-sponsored by Chewonki, an environmental education foundation and bottled water company Poland Spring.


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