Sen. Gratwick appointed to Environment, Government Oversight committees

Posted: December 27, 2016 | Environment and Natural Resources, Government Oversight Committee, Senator Gratwick

AUGUSTA — Sen. Geoff Gratwick, D-Bangor, has been appointed by the Senate President to the Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources, making him the Senate Democrats’ leading voice on policy to safeguard Maine’s environment and the industries it sustains.

Sen. Geoff Gratwick, D-Bangor.

Sen. Geoff Gratwick, D-Bangor.

Sen. Gratwick was also appointed to the bipartisan Government Oversight Committee, which directs the Legislature’s Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, or OPEGA, and ensures the integrity and efficiency of government programs and state officials.

“I’m pleased to serve on both these committees, which are charged with upholding two commitments of critical importance to my constituents: That to our pristine natural resources, and to the high standard of integrity in its state government and public officials,” said Sen. Gratwick. “As we begin our work, I’ll strive to uphold both commitments, and to make the people of Bangor and Hermon proud.”

The Environment and Natural Resources Committee has jurisdiction over the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and oversees policy regarding air and water quality; natural resource protection; site location and development laws, shoreland zoning, subdivisions and growth management; disposal of solid, hazardous, biomedical and other special wastes; hydropower and dams; waste-to-energy facilities; mining; and other, general environmental concerns.

The Government Oversight Committee oversees the OPEGA, which conducts objective, independent performance audits of state government programs and activities to ensure they are achieving intended results and are efficient, effective and economical. GOC and OPEGA also have jurisdiction over non-state entities that receive state funds or are established to perform government functions, such as the Turnpike Authority of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority.