Comprehensive state planning to addresses climate change helps create a culture for financing adaptation infrastructure.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced her administration’s initiatives to address climate change will include “improving Maine’s transportation sector and our energy and efficiency standards. We will mobilize state government to lead the way on energy conservation, weatherization and smart transportation measures.”

Legislators considered several bills (legislative documents, or “LD’s”) to fortify state planning.

On May 24, 2019, Gov. Mills signed into law:

  • LD 563 to amend Maine’s growth planning and land use laws to include addressing the effects of sea level rise as a state planning and regulatory goal. The bill amends the laws regarding Maine’s coastal management policies to direct state, local and certain federal agencies responsible for regulating, planning, developing or managing coastal resources to conduct their activities affecting the coastal area consistent with the policy of encouraging the assessment of and planning for the effects of the rise in sea level.

The Legislature did not take action on:

  • LD 893 would require the Department of Environmental Protection, working with the Maine Interagency Climate Adaptation Work Group and the University of Maine, to update the Maine Climate Action Plan developed in 2004 by thebdepartment. It would require the updated plan to address both mitigation and adaptation.

  • LD 565 establishes the Maine Coastal Risks and Hazards Commission, the purpose of which is to develop and submit legislative recommendations regarding the actions to be taken by the State to address and prepare for coastal and coastal watershed hazards identified by the commission, including, but not limited to, increased storm surges, extreme precipitation and other extreme weather events, projected sea level rise and increased river flooding and storm water runoff.