O&M Newsletter

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May 2014

In this issue:

Commissioner Aho Helps Wrap Up Save Your Pipes Campaign

Sorting Baby Wipes at Portland Water District

Commissioner Aho stopped by the last day of sorting baby wipes at the Portland Water District on May 22 for the "Save Your Pipes: Don't Flush Baby Wipes" campaign.  Earlier in month, Governor Paul R. LePage and Commissioner Aho presented the Maine Water Environment Association, the Portland Water District and the INDA, the national association of non-woven fabrics with a 2014 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence.  These organizations also received an an EPA Environmental Merit award in April after being nominated by Commissioner Aho.  

Congratulations to all those who participated and put Maine on the map for once again creatively leading to solve a national and international problem.  

Mercury Redux

Given the responses we received from some operators on last month’s mercury article, we may have inadvertently confused folks as to what the Department’s expectation is regarding mercury reporting.  We have made a few clarifications to the article, which is reprinted below. 

Here’s a reminder for those of you that are reporting mercury to the Department, for any reason:

Mercury required for MEPDES Permit Special Conditions: When you are running mercury in compliance with your MEPDES permit (typically, once a year), you are required to use EPA method 1631E. This method can be accurate down into the single digits in nanograms per liter (ng/l; nanograms x 1000 = micrograms, micrograms x 1000 = milligrams), with a reporting limit (RL) of about 0.5 ng/l. This information needs to be supplied to the Department on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection Effluent Mercury Test Report [DEPLW 0112-B2007]. Make sure you are using the correct units, ng/l, when entering your data.

Mercury required for MEPDES Pretreatment Program: When you are running mercury for Pretreatment Industrial User Compliance (unless you are deliberately requiring the 1631E method for reasons specific to your Pretreatment program), you are generally able to use EPA method 245 or equivalent.. This method cannot measure down into the ng/l range, and it has an RL of about 0.2 micrograms per liter (ug/l; the equivalent of 200 ng/l). This information needs to be supplied on your chosen consulting laboratory’s sample result bench sheet or report forms which include their quality control data for the sample being submitted.  

When you are running mercury analysis for compliance with your MEPDES permit, you use EPA 1631E and you report the results to the Department, in nanograms per liter (ng/l), on the Effluent Mercury Test Report form. Do not report this result on the Department’s Priority Pollutants ToxSheet form.  

When you are running Priority Pollutants analyses for compliance with your MEPDES permit, do not run or report EPA method 245 mercury results on the ToxSheet. You will see a gray shaded line through this row of the spreadsheet.  

Communities with Pretreatment Programs may be running or receiving EPA method 245 mercury analyses, related to either headworks loading, percent removal assessments, or for Industrial User compliance with their permitted Local Limits; this mercury data is managed separately from the MEPDES Toxics Program.  

If you are running mercury analyses for any reason that does not appear to be addressed by the preceding discussion, please consult with your Compliance Inspector regarding method and reporting requirements.

Coastal Zone Management Grant Funds Available

The Maine Coastal Program (through the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry) is seeking applications for a new round of coastal grants for FY 2015. The grants are for municipal and regional projects in Maine’s Coastal Zone.  Those eligible to apply include towns in Maine’s coastal zone, groups of towns in Maine’s coastal zone; coastal Regional Planning Commissions; and coastal Councils of Government.  (A list of Maine’s coastal zone communities may be found at the link below.) 


Of particular interest to POTWs is that this grant money may be used for: 

“Preparing for coastal storms, erosion and flooding, coastal hazards: To help coastal communities become resilient by developing adaptive responses to coastal erosion, coastal storm events, landslides and other coastal hazards.”  

The total amount of funds available for the Coastal Community Grant Program in FY15 is $185,000 (maximum award is $50,000). At least 25% of this total is expected to be allocated to adaptation planning to projects which have a primary focus on preparing for coastal storms, erosion and flooding and coastal hazards.  

Grant applications are due Tuesday, July 1st.    

The Maine Coastal Program FY15 Grant Program Statement can be found at: 


Please note this grant is administered by the Maine Coastal Program at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.  This is not a DEP grant.  

For further information contact: 

Ruta Dzenis, AICP - Senior Planner, Municipal Planning Assistance

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry



Status of Licensed Discharges Legislative Report Available

The annual DEP Status of Licensed Discharges Legislative Report is available on the DEP website.  The report summarizes a variety of information regarding licensed discharges including information on licensing, compliance, enforcement and facility needs.  Some key metrics from the report are listed below.  The complete report may be found on the DEP website at:  


A Few 2013 Year End Metrics for the MEPDES/WDL Program

Total Number of MEPDES/WDL – 398

% of MEPDES/WDL that are unexpired – 92%

% of MEPDES/WDL in substantial compliance – 93%

Total number of DEP MEPDES/WDL enforcement actions – 86

Total enforcement penalties assessed - $63,578

CWSRF Funds issued - $46 million

Total Known POTW Upgrade Needs:  $1 billion

o   Wastewater Treatment - $234 million

o   Sewer Replacement or Rehab - $195 million

o   New Collector of Interceptor Sewers - $194 million

o   Combined Sewer Overflow Abatement - $379 million

Staff Updates

On May 2, 2014, Dick Darling retired from the State with over 22 years of service.  Dick leaves a big void to fill.  In his absence, the Department of Environmental Protection staff will do their best to provide the services you have received in the past.  Please bear with us during this transition time.  Technical Assistance will be limited until Dick’s position is filled. 

The following list will direct you to other staff members for assistance.

EDMR system - Charlene Moore at charlene.b.moore@maine.gov or 207-287-9034

Technical Assistance - Contact your facility inspector, or if not calling from a licensed facility, contact Sterling Pierce at sterling.pierce@maine.gov or 207-287-4868

EPA DMR QA/QC Study 34 - Sterling Pierce at sterling.pierce@maine.gov or 207-287-4868

Operator Certification - Contact Spring Connolly at JETCC at jetcc2@maine.rr.com

Thank you.

Senior Environmental Engineer Postition

MEDEP logo

Direct Hire Career Opportunity Bulletin 

State House Station #17, Augusta, ME 04333 - *Offices Located at 28 Tyson Drive, Augusta

Opening Date: May 20, 2014

Closing Date: June 6, 2014

Location: Augusta

Position #: 08330-1309

Position Type: Permanent Full Time

Class Code: 6322

Grade/Salary: 28   $51,771.20 - $71,198.40/annually 

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is seeking candidates for a Senior Environmental Engineer with the Division of Water Quality Management in the Compliance and Technical Assistance Unit, Augusta. This is extending a previous posting.

BRIEF JOB DESCRIPTION:  This is professional services and scientific work, of a supervisory nature, involved in protecting the environment including performing complex technical evaluations.  The primary duty of this position is providing technical assistance to approximately 400 licensed wastewater dischargers to improve regulatory compliance and environmental performance.  The position is responsible for providing onsite technical assistance for process control, sampling and laboratory practices, pollution prevention, electronic Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) field training, wet weather plans, asset management, and O&M manuals; providing classroom training; provide support of operator certification program; implement the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual DMR Quality Assurance/Quality Control program; drafting education and outreach materials; and serving as a technical resource for DEP staff.  This position also supervises an ES III that performs a variety of wastewater data related tasks.

This position requires extensive travel throughout the state to conduct onsite technical assistance.  Overnight travel may be required. 

Knowledge/Skills and Abilities:  Knowledge of civil, mechanical, chemical, and/or sanitary engineering principles and practices; water and wastewater chemistry and bacteriology; planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of water and waste treatment facilities.  Knowledge of wastewater sampling and laboratory practices and methods.  Knowledge of laws and rules related to wastewater dischargers.  Knowledge of computer programs and regulatory data bases related to wastewater dischargers.  Ability to read and evaluate complex plans and specifications; to understand and follow complex oral and written instructions; to use tact and diplomacy to establish and maintain effective working relationships; to plan, assign, and oversee the work of professional subordinates; to communicate effectively orally and in writing and to solve problems independently.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:  Registration as a Professional Engineer and two (2) years of professional experience in environmental engineering or related field after registration.

LICENSING/REGISTRATION/CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:  (These must be met by all employees prior to attaining permanent status in this class). Registration as a Professional Engineer by the Maine State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers. 


Public Service                                 Career Diversity

Retirement                                       Promotional Opportunities

Benefits                                            Over 10,000 Employees

Paid Holidays                                   Statewide Locations

Training                                            Seasonal Jobs

Full Time                                          Part Time

HOW TO APPLY:  Interested applicants need to complete and submit a State of Maine Direct Hire Application and detailed Resume.


Natural Resources Service Center

Thomas Cotnoir, HR Generalist
155 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
(phone: 207-287-5046, fax: 207-2216)

5:00 pm, June 6, 2014

Direct Hire Application forms
can be obtained by contacting the NRSC Personnel Office at 287-2214 or by accessing the NRSC website at http://www.maine.gov/nrsc/jobs/application.shtml

Value of State’s share of Employee’s Retirement: 17.07% of pay, Employee Pays: 7.65% of pay
Value of State-paid Dental Insurance:  $13.13 biweekly

Value of State-paid Health Insurance*:

Level 1:  100% State Contribution = $363.77 biweekly (employee pays nothing)
Level 2:  95% State Contribution = $345.58 biweekly (Employee pays: 5%)
Level 3:  90% State Contribution = $327.39 biweekly (Employee pays: 10%)
Level 4:  85% State Contribution = $309.20 biweekly (Employee pays: 15%)
*The level of actual value of state paid Health Insurance will be based on employee’s wage rate and status with regard to the health credit premium program as of July 1, 2011.