Aug 22, 2017

Rockland fishpier dredge plan withdrawn!

Rockland fishpier dredge plan withdrawn! 
Opposition to contaminants & costs  push it back for at least a year

What a roller coaster this dredge process has been - the Feds said NO...the City said YES...the Feds came back with YES...the City came back with NO!  At least until 2019 

What happened.
Realizing that a great deal of decisionmaking was going on behind closed doors, we decided to  lift the rock that dredge fast-trackers were creeping about under. We showed  the  people how shaky a plan its supporters had for dealing with old sediments heavy with PCBs lead, cadmium PAHs.

Little more than a year ago the Army Corps of Engineers rejected dumping  Rockland fishpier dredge spoils into the Rockland Disposal Site - located between the Fox Islands and Rockland. The Corps  bluntly found that:
"These sediments are not suitable for unconfined open water disposal at the Rockland Disposal Site (RDS) as proposed. There are alternatives available to the applicant. These include upland disposal or biological testing of the materials.
Metals "in the sediments represented by Composite 2, cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg) concentrations for the project are more than twice the “mean plus two times the standard deviation” of the RDS reference value." .
"Five PAHs (phenanthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo(a)anthracene, and chrysene) concentrations are at least 10 times reference values.
PCBs, "most of the congener concentrations in the project were above the analytical detection limits.
End of excerpts

Then the plan shifted to dumping it onto a public park - Rockland people said NO. Lots of them. Heavy metals PCBs, and families and pets don't mix.  

Foiled again, the  dredge wannabees went back to the Army Corps of Engineers and talked them into reconsidering their earlier NO.  On July 27, 2017, Army Corps' Charles Farris sent an email to two other Corps officials and Bud Brown of sediment sampler EcoAnalysts Inc, 

He tersely stated "Here is the final sampling plan for the Rockland Fish Pier. Please contact me with any questions."


Time to reach out outside Rockland. I contacted the Vinalhaven town manager and the islands lobster cooperative suggested that they  were on the verge of getting a surprise dredge spoils  dump With its 42 million dollar a year (2016) lobster fishery at risk of getting tainted, they were eager to get all the gory details which Maine's Freedom of Access Act and several honest city officials   enabled us to gain and  then get out to the public



L

2. In 2017 the city of Rockland then turned to the land disposal option and found two possible sites.
One would be a fresh topping* of Snow Marine Park in Rockland's south end with the spoils. This would elevate the height above sea level of the park by a certain amount. The second would cap the now filled-to-capacity Rockland Quarry Dump with the spoils, over which a sodded surface would be planted
However Nature has reasserted Herself. The waters that formerly flowed down slope through the South End as a stream into the cove now disperses itself through the filled-in spoils, upwelling as significant wetlands across the north end of the park, making that area off limits and apparently reducing the available area to too small for the spoils . In addition the city councilmembers seem to oppose topping a public park with sediments tainted with lead, cadmium PCBs and other toxins
* Snow Marine Park was created by filling an intertidal cove with dredge spoils - about half a century ago. (From where?)
3. Back to the bay! On July 27, 2017, Army Corps' Charles Farris sent an email to two other Corps officials and Bud Brown the rep of EcoAnalysts Inc . The short message:
"Here is the final sampling plan for the Rockland Fish Pier. Please contact me with any questions."
Norm"

Aug 19, 2017

Rockland Comprehensive plan overhaul - updates 8 /17/17 on water uses, recreation, forestry & more. AUDIO

Rockland Comprehensive Planning Commission meeting August 17, 2017 
Audio mp3s of  the meeting. *  Meeting agenda  Commission webpage 
Includes: (1) Reports on Comprehensive plan updates. (2) Rockland Farms & Forests Report 59min

(1) Update Reports


Recreation & Open Space  16min 9sec

Above reports as one audio. 27min 35sec

(2) Presentation:  Rockland Farms & Forests Report by Amy Files &John Grondin

Meeting Attendees
Commission members 
Julie Lewis, Chair
Eileen Wilkinson
Amy Files,  Renew Rockland
Callie Black,  Rockland heart and soul 
James Kalloch Workboat operator, snowplowing

Members Not attending
Michelle Gifford
 Michael Silverstein  (resigned)

Also attending 
Ann Kreig from Midcoast Regional Planning Commission
Bill Butler - "staff"
Ron Huber  WRFR LPFM radio producer, FOPB
John Grondin head of Parks Commission

Members Not attending
Commissioner Michelle Gifford  wasnt there 
Commissioner Michael Silverstein  has quit 

 Alternate
Terry Pinto,Rockland Sewage Treatment Plan
 Shelley Kushner, Alternate

Aug 9, 2017

Penobscot Bay threatened AGAIN with offshore dumping of lead & PCB-laden dredge spoils

Is the US Army Corps of Engineers trying to fast track dumping of unacceptably contaminated sediments from the mainland into waters 3 miles off Vinalhaven?

The location for dumping sediment spoils dug up from the harbor floor has ping-ponged from the Rockland Disposal Site off the Fox Islands, onshore to Rockland's own Snow Marine Park and now back to the bay!


As we try to make sense of this Rockland Fishpier Dredge plan, here are some background documents and emails  to bring you up to speed.

EMAILS Discussions of the below documents, as well as about the now-dropped plan to land dump the spoils onto Snow Marine Park in Rockland,

2016 DOCUMENTS  Sediment test and Army Corp response


7/16/16 Army Corps of Engineers Suitability findings on Rockland Fishpier sediments  Quote:  "These sediments are not suitable for unconfined open water disposal at the Rockland Disposal Site (RDS) as proposed."

2017 DOCUMENTS Army Corps issues new plan for fishper dredge spoils  going to RDS

AUDIO



 Historical 


How we got where we are.  Above documents get  referred to below
1. July 6 2016, the Army Corps of Engineers rejects dumping fishpier dredge spoils into the Rockland Disposal Site - located between the Fox Islands and Rockland The Corps cites a toxic mix of wastes in the spoils Here are excerpts from their suitability findings on the spoils "
Excerpts:
"These sediments are not suitable for unconfined open water disposal at the Rockland Disposal Site (RDS) as proposed. There are alternatives available to the applicant. These include upland disposal or biological testing of the materials.
Metals "in the sediments represented by Composite 2, cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg) concentrations for the project are more than twice the “mean plus two times the standard deviation” of the RDS reference value." .
"Five PAHs (phenanthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo(a)anthracene, and chrysene) concentrations are at least 10 times reference values.
PCBs, "most of the congener concentrations in the project were above the analytical detection limits.
End of excerpts

2. In 2017 the city of Rockland then turned to the land disposal option and found two possible sites.
One would be a fresh topping* of Snow Marine Park in Rockland's south end with the spoils. This would elevate the height above sea level of the park by a certain amount. The second would cap the now filled-to-capacity Rockland Quarry Dump with the spoils, over which a sodded surface would be planted
However Nature has reasserted Herself. The waters that formerly flowed down slope through the South End as a stream into the cove now disperses itself through the filled-in spoils, upwelling as significant wetlands across the north end of the park, making that area off limits and apparently reducing the available area to too small for the spoils . In addition the city councilmembers seem to oppose topping a public park with sediments tainted with lead, cadmium PCBs and other toxins
* Snow Marine Park was created by filling an intertidal cove with dredge spoils - about half a century ago. (From where?)
3. Back to the bay! On July 27, 2017, Army Corps' Charles Farris sent an email to two other Corps officials and Bud Brown the rep of EcoAnalysts Inc . The short message:
"Here is the final sampling plan for the Rockland Fish Pier. Please contact me with any questions."
Norm"

Aug 7, 2017

Jul 30, 2017

Bay History: September 2000. Huber appeals MBNA soccer field development at base of Ducktrap Mountain.

MBNA's soccer field OK with BEP, but board wants to look at big picture

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By Lynda Clancy | Sep 27, 2000
AUGUSTA — Maine's Board of Environmental Protection voted unanimously last week to uphold the state permit that allowed MBNA to build a soccer field last spring on its land in Northport. At the same time, the BEP discussed at length rules assessing cumulative impacts of large developments.
"I do think this is something the board needs to address," said board member Ernest Hilton during the BEP meeting last Thursday in Augusta.
The BEP is a 10-member citizen advisory panel that hears appeals of decisions made by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and acts in a policy-making capacity.
Ron Huber, of the Rockland-based Coastal Waters Project, filed the appeal last May, saying the DEP failed to evaluate secondary and cumulative impacts of the soccer field when taken in conjunction with MBNA's previous development on its Northport land.
While the soccer field appeal was the catalyst, Huber's larger goal was to highlight how Maine's Department of Environmental Protection processes project applications.
"Cumulative impacts," according to Maine's environmental policy, are "those impacts that are realized when the incremental effects of individual developments add up to the point where certain thresholds of tolerance are exceeded."
Besides revoking the artificially-turfed soccer field permit, CWP wanted the state to create a policy for defining thresholds that trigger offsite and cumulative impact reviews of any development reviewed under the Site Location of Development
Law, and that the DEP suspend review of other development projects in certain areas around Penobscot Bay, including aquaculture projects, until such a policy is established.
This wasn't Huber's first protest of an MBNA project; last winter, he unsuccessfully appealed the credit bank's plan to build 40 cabins on a portion of its 254-acre Northport parcel. That land, which extends up the slopes of Ducktrap Mountain, lies at the town border with Lincolnville and is accessed from Route 1.
An outcome of Huber's appeal, however, was the BEP's stipulation that MBNA establish a conservation easement there, something that MBNA said it was already working on at the time.
According to the DEP, MBNA submitted a site plan review for developments at its Point Lookout land in 1996, when the bank first wanted to build a conference facility near the top of the mountain. Since 1996 and at various times, MBNA has amended the plan to build an additional function building, pavilion, access roadway, several additions, fitness center, softball field, 40 cabins, access drive, and utilities.
MBNA also built the Lincolnville Central School on a parcel of land adjacent to the soccer field land.
"We were encouraged the board has seen the cumulative impacts of sprawl as a real concern," Huber said after the hearing. "We are discouraged the board allowed this development, which ignores cumulative impact, to proceed."
According to MBNA, the DEP did its job in reviewing the corporation's application, and that CWP's arguments were factually incorrect. MBNA argued that Huber and his organization lacked the requisite standing to appeal, particularly because it had no members.
"Our contention is that there is no group," said MBNA regional director Shane Flynn at the hearing.
In MBNA's written response to the appeal, Portland attorney Philip Ahrens, of Pierce Atwood, wrote: "Here, all that CWP has alleged is that unspecified members of its 'association' live in the the towns of Northport and Lincolnville, as well as 'other sites' in the area that will be impacted by 'implicit sprawl' caused by the project. CWP has offered absolutely no evidence to prove any specific impact on any specific CWP member caused by the proposed development."
CWP, according to Huber's statements filed with the BEP, is a citizen's association "dedicated to restoring and protecting the ecological integrity of the nearshore waters of the Gulf of Maine through local oversight and citizen action.�The CWP includes members from Northport and Lincolnville, the two towns that share stewardship of the Ducktrap Mountain and its watershed, in addition to others sites around the bay's Route 1 corridor that will be impacted by the sprawl implicit if thise development is not revoked."
BEP board member Andrew Cadot asked Huber at Thursday's hearing to respond to the issue of CWP's standing and organizational focus in relation to his opposition to the soccer field.
"You really can't look at the water and land as a separate place," Huber said. Impacts to coastal land affects the water below, he said. "You can't isolate one from the other."
Board member Jean Wilkinson responded to MBNA's opinion on Huber's standing by saying the BEP has a responsibility to hear "the Mr. Hubers who come before us who may not have top-knotch legal resources."
BEP member John Wardwell asked Flynn who the soccer field would serve.
Flynn responded that is was built for the company's fitness center, as well as the larger community. Now, he said, students at the Lincolnville school (which was built by MBNA for Lincolnville) can also use it.
"Was the soccer field part of the master plan for the site?" Wardwell asked.
"No," Flynn said.
Board member Hilton pointed out that MBNA has had a substantial impact on the Maine coast, increased employment, and created attractive buildings. He also said he wondered if the MBNA "bounty" "purchases an opinion of you."
"I find that an extremely difficult point to answer," Flynn said. "We try to get involved in things that make a difference."
"We've had a free-ranging discussion," BEP chairman John Tewhey said.
"MBNA is not on trial here," said board member Irving Faunce.
While the BEP did vote to uphold the soccer field permit, it requested that attorney Jan McClintock, of the state's attorney general's office, produce a short report about what the board's actual authority is in guiding the issue of cumulative impact.
Lynda Clancy can be reached by email at: lyclancy@tidewater.net.

Huber appeals Ducktrap Deeryard demolition by MBNA to Maine BEP January 2000

Opponent appeals MBNA Northport permit to BEP

By Lynda Clancy | Jan 11, 2000
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NORTHPORT — Coastal Waters Project has appealed the state permit issued to MBNA allowing the construction of 40 cabins on Ducktrap Mountain to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection, hoping the board will revoke the permit.
The appeal was submitted Dec. 30. Now it's up to the Department of Environmental Protection, which issued the permit, to form a recommendation on how it thinks the BEP should proceed.
Coastal Waters has actively protested the DEP permit issued last month. That permit approved the construction of 40 recreational cabins on the side of Ducktrap Mountain. Cabin sizes range from 468 to 650 square feet in size.
Ron Huber of Coastal Waters is appealing the permit on multiple counts, saying the permit should be revoked and MBNA be required to remove the cabins and roads and revegetate the site.
A spokesman at the DEP commissioner's office said last week that the BEP will probably not hear the appeal before Feb. 17. In the appeal process, MBNA has the opportunity to file a rebuttal and interested parties have 15 days to comment on the DEP recommendation after it is issued.
At the time of the DEP approval of the MBNA permit, an MBNA spokesman said the company gives no credence to Huber's protests.
"Mr. Huber's continued attempt to inflame public concern over this project by raising unsubstantiated and incorrect facts benefits no one," said MBNA's Blaine Buck in a pre-approval letter to DEP.
The BEP is a citizen advisory board whose 10 members are appointed by the governor. The BEP interprets, administers, and enforces laws relating to the environment. It also makes rules, decides selected permit applications, and reviews the Commissioner's licensing and enforcement actions. Decisions made by the DEP can be appealed to the board.
In the appeal, Huber said the DEP should have notified the public of changes to the final permit before it was signed by the commissioner's office. Huber maintains that significant alterations were made to the draft permit after it was circulated to various parties for review.
"We are challenging the authority of the Department of Environmental Protection to accept and incorporate last-minute significant changes to the project's application without reopening the comment period and providing notice to the stakeholders and other parties of interest of the modification to the application," the appeal says.
"The department unlawfully deleted requirements embedded in three places in the draft permit from the final permit. Specifically, the department excised the requirement that the developer remove its 40 buildings and roads from the deer wintering area, if the developer and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife could not come to an agreement on a plan to protect the Ducktrap Deer Yard."
The appeal also maintains the DEP should have considered the cumulative impact of MBNA's development on the mountain. MBNA has already built a fitness center, garage, shed, and playing field on the lower part of the mountain, near Route 1. Closer to the crest of the mountain is its conference building overlooking Penobscot Bay.
Huber also said in the appeal that the DEP should have held a public hearing on the proposal because of "significant public interest."
Coastal Waters Project also says the DEP did not correctly coordinate with the New England Fishery Management Council to gauge the impact of the development on the Ducktrap River, home to endangered Atlantic Salmon.
"We appeal the Department's failure to evaluate the significant direct impacts on the mountain's resources, as well as the substantial adverse indirect, secondary and cumulative impacts to the Ducktrap River/Harbor estuarine complex, to forest interior dwelling wildlife, to threatened and endangered species, to aquatic resources, to freshwater wetland resources and to marine and estuarine resources.
Huber said his organization has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for state documents relating to the MBNA permit acquistio

Jul 26, 2017

Rockland Harbor, 1999. MBNA dredges harbor near new waterfront facility, has spoils trucked to Rockland Quarry Dump.

Prock Marine's dredger and barge work with George C Hall trucks to move sediments from harbor floor to Rockland's Quarry Dump, 2006. A photo essay. Scroll down for photos





Flash forward to trucks dumping spoils into Rockland Quarry dump from Old County Roadside












Jul 20, 2017

Rockland Fishpier Dredge plan FOAA docs June 2016 to July 2017.

On July 20th,Rockland Harbormaster Matt Riley responded to Friends of Penobscot Bay's  request for info on dredge plans for Rockland's Municipal Fish Pier  with the below emails and documents. They date from June 26, 2016 to July 19,2017. Thanks Matt!

2016 first then 2017

NOTE: attachment links at ends of pages won't work. Those attachments are posted separately with an  * asterix* in front of name.

2016  Emails relating to Rockland Fishpier dredging and renovation

062616_Richard Whitman fisherman, Matt Ripley


062616_Bud Brown president EcoAnalysts, Inc to Audra Caler-Bell Rockland community development spec; Matt Ripley, Rockland Harbormaster Cc: Tim Forrester & Lisa Vickers (EcoAnalysts)

* 070816 Refined sample map

070916_Bud Brown. Audra Caler-Bell; Matt Ripley Cc: Tim Forrester; Lisa Vickers

071116_ Bud Brown, Audra Caler-Bell; Matt Ripley Cc: Steve Durrell -Prock Marine

080916_Peter Tischbein ACOE Cc: Jay Clement ACOE; Shawn Mahaney ACOE; Audra Caler-Bell; Matt Ripley; Tim Forrester; Lisa Vickers(biologist,EcoAnalysts) 

* 080916 Rockland Fish Pier Grain Size Analysis for Use of Sand as Cover for Dredge Material.

090216_Kim King (MDOT) to Brian Downey (ME Pilotage Assn) re Port Safety Forums 106 & 107

090916_Peter Blanchard DEP  to Matt Ripley.

091916_Peter Tischbein to Ripley


112216  Carol Woodcock (Senator Collins), Matt Ripley, Nick Battista (Island Institute), Patricia Aho, (Collins)


2017 Emails relating to Rockland Fishpier Dredgeing and renovation