In Support of LD 2053

Testimony of Nancy Smith, CEO of GrowSmart Maine In Support of LD 2053 An Act to Exempt Buildings Used to Cultivate Crops from the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code

January 22, 2024

Senator Beebe-Center, Representative Salisbury and Honorable Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety,

My name is Nancy Smith, I live in Ellsworth, and I am the CEO of GrowSmart Maine. We are a statewide non-partisan non-profit organization helping communities navigate change in alignment with smart growth.  We advocate for comprehensive policies and funding for smart growth practices and outcomes.  

From that perspective, we support the proposal in this bill, to exempt from MUBEC farming buildings where crops are stored or cultivated, with the exception of those where cannabis is cultivated.  This adds to a recent exemption for buildings that shelter livestock. I bring to this issue an additional perspective, having served as House Chair of the Business, Research, and Economic Development Committee when MUBEC was first passed in 2010.  I can assure the committee that throughout the intense discussions and debates on that original proposal, the idea of the statewide building and energy code applying to farm buildings was never considered.

With this bill, the legislature can correct an oversight in support of Maine’s farmers and the agricultural sector of our economy.

I am available to assist in any way that is helpful to the Committee.