Jun 24, 2017

Rockland Harbor Dredging update June 2017

Quick compendium of Rocklandharbor fishper info

Rockland Harbor Fish Pier dredging plan information
Harbor map (ACOE) pdf

Key agencies and laws involved

DREDGING
Federal
Army Corps of Engineers Clean Water Act, Rivers and Harbors Act
EPA   Clean Water Act's guidance  on dredging
NOAA Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act

State
Maine DEP 
Maine Natural Resources Protection Act    Go to 38 §480-D-9. Standards

BEP gets jurisdiction over dredge plan searsport letter from DEP Commish Aho
DMR  says " Notice of Intent Not to hold a Public Meeting

Local
City of Rockland - finds funding source

NGO  Letter requesting DMR hold public hearing

DREDGE SPOILS DISPOSAL


1.

3. Reviews , discussion of of Maine dredging  governance

January 2016 .Safe Harbors: A Comparative Analysis of Dredging Regulation in New England
U Maine School of Law.  (Scroll down for Maine section)

Federal Govt Role in Dredging in Maine

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) “share responsibility for ensuring that dredged [sediment] disposal into the aquatic environment [occurs] in an environmentally acceptable manner.” 39
Fed Laws:   Clean Water Act and the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act

State Govt Role in dredging in Maine

Maine Coastal Program (MCP) coordinates state agencies involved in dredging and disposal


Lobstermen protest dumping of dredge
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/08/06/sports/outdoors-maine-lobstermen-protest-dumping-of-dredge.html

-
Contaminated Sediment Remediation Guidance for Hazardous Waste Sites
DCP Midstream stormwater plan narrative
Cleaning Up Contaminated Sediment Citizen's Guide


Applications to Dredge or to Dispose of Dredged Material in Coastal Waters


http://penbay.org/dcp/dcp2012/dcp_town_application/App%20F%20Stormwater%20Narrative.pdf

Army Corps of Engineers summary Rockland Harbor


Maine Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA)

38 §480-D. Standards

9. Dredging. If the proposed activity involves dredging, dredge spoils disposal or transporting dredge spoils by water, the applicant must demonstrate that the transportation route minimizes adverse impacts on the fishing industry and that the disposal site is geologically suitable. 

The Commissioner of Marine Resources shall provide the department with an assessment of the impacts on the fishing industry of a proposed dredging operation in the coastal wetlands. The assessment must consider impacts to the area to be dredged and impacts to the fishing industry of a proposed route to transport dredge spoils to an ocean disposal site. The Commissioner of Marine Resources may hold a public hearing on the proposed dredging operation. 

In determining if a hearing is to be held, the Commissioner of Marine Resources shall consider the potential impacts of the proposed dredging operation on fishing in the area to be dredged. If a hearing is held, it must be within at least one of the municipalities in which the dredging operation would take place. 

If the Commissioner of Marine Resources determines that a hearing is not to be held, the Commissioner of Marine Resources must publish a notice of that determination in a newspaper of general circulation in the area proposed for the dredging operation.

 The notice must state that the Commissioner of Marine Resources will accept verbal and written comments in lieu of a public hearing. The notice must also state that if 5 or more persons request a public hearing within 30 days of the notice publication, the Commissioner of Marine Resources will hold a hearing. If 5 or more persons request a public hearing within 30 days of the notice publication, the Commissioner of Marine Resources must hold a hearing. 

In making its determination under this subsection, the department must take into consideration the assessment provided by the Commissioner of Marine Resources. The permit must require the applicant to:
A. Clearly mark or designate the dredging area, the spoils disposal route and the transportation route;
B. Publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the area adjacent to the route the approved transportation route of the dredge spoils; and .]
C. Publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the area adjacent to the route a procedure that the applicant will use to respond to inquiries regarding the loss of fishing gear during the dredging

(End of dredge section of statute)


2. People and agencies involved in Dredging around Penobscot Bay 2016  2pg PDF

3. Reviews , discussion of of Maine dredging  governance

January 2016 .Safe Harbors: A Comparative Analysis of Dredging Regulation in New England
U Maine School of Law.  (Scroll down for Maine section)

Federal Govt Role in Dredging in Maine

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) “share responsibility for ensuring that dredged [sediment] disposal into the aquatic environment [occurs] in an environmentally acceptable manner.” 39
Fed Laws:   Clean Water Act and the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act

State Govt Role in dredging in Maine

Maine Coastal Program (MCP) coordinates state agencies involved in dredging and disposal

 State Law :  Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA)  Comprehensive dredging permit. It is issued in accordance with the  and is required to engage in dredging and filling activities.

An MNRPA permit can take anywhere from 14 to 120 days to issue and Maine law requires that approximate processing times be printed on applications. 206
The large timeframe spread accounts for the most simple through to the most complex projects.207
If the proposed

dredge site is located on state-owned submerged land, a “submerged lands lease” is also required.208

Under MNRPA rules, dredging cannot “unreasonably interfere with the natural flow of any surface or subsurface waters.” 209

An MNRPA permit is not always required, though. For example, maintenance dredging in an area that has been “disturbed” within the last ten years and calls for removing less than 50,000 cubic yards of sediment may be exempt.210 On the other hand, if disposal of that sediment will be taking place on land, Maine solid waste management rules apply and a special dumping permit may be needed. 211

 The Maine Coastal Program (MCP) coordinates state agencies involved in dredging and disposal activities.

 A second, MCP-affiliated informal group also meets to discuss dredging issues.213 Its members include representatives from the Maine Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP), Marine Resources, the State Planning Office, and the Maine Geological Survey.214

Detailed permit application information is available at the MDEP’s website.215 Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact MDEP to schedule a pre-application consultation, especially if a project seeks “new dredging or use of a non-designated disposal site.”216

If a private dredging activity requires an MNRPA permit, the applicant must cause a notice of the project to be published in the local newspaper. 217 If disposal is slated for an open water site, the barge’s route must also be published but under the headline: “Notice to Fishermen.”218

If a dredging project will be performed by a federal agency, “pre-application, pre-submission, and public informational meetings are required.” 219 This is what has been happening at Searsport.

Water Quality. Under Maine’s NRPA, dredged sediment is evaluated against federal EPA pollution standards.220
Multiple rounds of testing may be required.221
Data results are collected and kept on file; if an applicant wants to dredge an area where the sediment has been tested within the previous three years, a new sediment test may not be required.222 In Maine, dredging typically occurs between November 1st and April 15th to minimize impact on marine life.223 Lobster migration is a particular concern for regulators. 224

Dredging Best Practices. Maine does not publish general recommendations regarding specific dredging techniques, but “best management practices are made to permit applicants on a case-by-case basis.” 225

Dredged Sediment Disposal. Maine does not have a long-term plan for managing the disposal of dredged sediment, although in the past state officials have said the issue needs attention.226

Generally, there are four ways to dispose of dredged sediment in Maine. 

First, if the sediment is clean, it may be repurposed for beneficial use; as beach sand, for example.227


Second, if using it for beneficial purposes is not an option, “Maine views ocean disposal as the best alternative” if the sediment meets EPA and ACE standards.228


Third, the sediment may be disposed of inland provided it has less than hazardous concentrations of PCBs.229


Finally, if the sediment exceeds the PCB threshold, it must be disposed of pursuant to hazardous waste regulations.230


Compared to the rest of the U.S., “the options for disposal of dredged material in Maine are limited.”231


Contaminated Sediment Remediation Guidance for Hazardous Waste Sites
DCP Midstreaam stormwater plan narrative
Cleaning Up Contaminated Sediment Citizen's Guide


Applications to Dredge or to Dispose of Dredged Material in Coastal Waters


http://penbay.org/dcp/dcp2012/dcp_town_application/App%20F%20Stormwater%20Narrative.pdf

Army Corps of Engineers summary
"The project in Rockland Harbor consists of five channels along the central waterfront with varying depths and widths, and a 4,346-foot-long stone breakwater that extends southerly from Jameson Point. The dimensions and locations of these channels are:
  • An 18 foot deep access channel, 200 feet wide, extending from deep water east of the U.S. Coast Guard facility to a point west of the facility.
  • A 14 foot deep channel, 150 feet wide, that begins at the end of the 18 foot deep channel and ends at a point opposite Whitmoyer Laboratories.
  • A channel 14 feet deep and 150 feet wide extending from the 18 foot deep access channel to Lermond Cove, behind the central waterfront, in the vicinity of Schooner Dock.
  • A channel 14 feet deep and 100 feet wide extending from the aforementioned 14 foot deep channel to the vicinity of the Rockland/Rockport Lime Company.
  • A channel 14 feet deep and 100 feet wide extending from the 18 foot deep access channel to the vicinity of the E.F. Drew Company and Holmes Packing Company.
The breakwater was completed in 1904 and the channels were completed in 1959."

May 13, 2017

ME Legis' Marine Resources Comm May 10, 2017 worksession on LD 1438 AUDIO MP3

On May 10, 2017, the Maine Legislature's Marine Resources Committee approved an amended version of LD1438 "An Act To Improve the Aquaculture Leasing and Licensing Laws."   Listen to the 5/10/17 work session on LD 1438 (47min)  
Or in parts: Pt 1 12min  **  Part 2. 8min54sec  **Part 3. 9min 44sec  ** Part 4. 8min 50sect **  Part  5  to end    Listen to May 1, 2017 public hearing on 1438. (46min)

Read Official summary of LD1438 below links to filed comments 

Belle, Sebastian
Maine Aquaculture Association
Crimp, JamesIsland Institute
de Koning, FionaAcadia Aqua Farms, LLC
Devin, MichaelMaine State Legislature
Dobbins, PaulOcean Approved, Inc.
Gilbert, DeirdreDepartment of Marine Resources
Steverlynck, ValyFreeport

Summary
"This bill amends the aquaculture leasing and licensing laws. 

* It removes the prohibition on the provision by the Department of Marine Resources of promotional and marketing assistance to the aquaculture industry. 

* It extends the potential term of an aquaculture lease from 10 to 20 years. 

It changes the order of preference for lease applications to include in the 2nd position an individual who currently holds a limited-purpose aquaculture license for the area. 

It provides a process by which a holder of a standard lease could seek an expansion of the lease area by up to 10% once during the duration of the lease without having to apply for a new lease. 

It places the licensed activities and criteria for limited-purpose aquaculture licenses in separate statutory provisions. 

It requires a limited-purpose aquaculture license holder to specify if the license is for commercial or personal use and to identify the growing area and current classification of the area. 

It adds consideration of any risk to public health to the criteria used in determining whether to grant a limited-purpose aquaculture license. 

It adds to the eligibility criteria for a limited-purpose aquaculture license the completion of any educational courses that may be required by the Commissioner of Marine Resources.

END

ME Legislature to vote on tightening restrictions on creating new category of political parties

Important Changes to Mainers'  political and civic rights  happened at the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee  of the legislature on May 10, 2017.  Listen to the recorded discussions then the committee votes in approval of bills LD 1591 and LD 1571. 

May 10, 2017  Meeting introduction 2min

LD 1591   Lobbying by Former Legislators and Former Executive Branch Officials"  Imposes a one year no-paid-lobbying minimum after leaving office. Listen to LD1591's worksession and vote. 14min 36sec 

During the work session both the secretary of state and a professional lobbyist spoke at length in favor of the bill.

 LD 1571  "An Act To Amend the Election Laws Relating to Party Qualification" creates a new category of political party in Maine: the "Minor Party"   Listen to LD 1571 worksession 51min      Key Points: 

Minor parties to have 2 major differences from majors
1.Need minimum 5,000  enrolled voters to qualify as a legitimate political party, 
2. Select candidates at conventions.

 Major Parties (Ds and Rs) 
1. Need minimum o\50,000 enrolled voters to qualify 
2. Select candidates via primaries. 










May 8, 2017

Me legislators hold hearing & worksession on bill to revamp state laws on archives & records-keeping. Vote OTP.

A bill changing  the state of Maine's archives and records management laws had both its public hearing and worksession  on May 8, 2017, and was then reported out with an Ought To Pass

The bill is  LD 1567 "An Act To Amend the Archives and Records Management Law"


Submitted testimony:
Matthew Dunlap testimony, Secretary of State
Roger Katz, Maine State Legislature 

Official summary of the changes the bill brings to state and local records management
"This bill makes the following changes to the archives and records management laws:
1. Adds language to specify that it is the policy of the State to ensure that nonpermanent records are preserved for the time required by an approved records retention schedule;
2. Adds language to include the advice from the Archives Advisory Board in the State Archivist's consideration of what constitutes an archival record, to change the definition of state agency or agency to include all government agencies that transmit records to the Maine State Archives and to change the definition of electronic records;
3. Adds language to specify the 2nd organizational unit within the Maine State Archives is records management and adds language to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, section 94 that was stricken from Title 5, section 95 regarding powers and duties of the State Archivist;
4. Changes the laws governing the State Archivist to reflect the 2 organizational units of the Maine State Archives: archives services and records management. It adds language to strengthen the records management practices for all state and local government agencies by using 4 criteria in the development of a guiding records retention schedule: administrative use, legal requirements, fiscal and audit requirements and historical and research value;
5. Specifies when local government records may be destroyed;
6. Repeals and replaces the laws governing the Archives Advisory Board to change the expertise required of members, to provide that members are appointed by the Secretary of State and to provide 3-year terms for members; and
7. Removes the requirement that the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education and cultural affairs but retains the requirement that the board report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over state and local government matters, which is the committee of oversight for the Maine State Archives. It also removes a reference to funding a full-time position that was eliminated in Public Law 2015, 
End of summary

Maine bill to ban towns from having pesticide ordinances fails!

AUGUSTA.  LD 1505: “An Act To Create Consistency in the Regulation of Pesticides“ had a public hearing on May first, followed by two work sessions by the Maine Legislature's State and Local Government committee on  May 8th and May 15th.

The May 15th worksession  lasted only 90 seconds but that  was long enough for the committee to give LD 1505l an Ought Not To Pass

Listen to the May 8th Worksession  in which they ponder the info they'd gotten 
Part 1. Introduction; summary of public hearing comments. 9min 19sec

Part 2, Gary Corbin ME Municipal Assoc 8min 24sec

Part 3. Lebelle Hicks, State Toxicologist 6min 25sec

Part 4. Deven Morrill, chair Board of Pesticides Control  12min 12sec

Part 5. Mary Ann Nahf, Harpswell Conservation Commission. 6min 11sec

Part 6. Discussion and decision to hold another mtg 5/10/17. 3min 51sec

The bill would both kill all existing town pesticide related ordinances in Maine, and forbid  creation of new ones. The state offered an amendment that would still kill the ordinances but would allow towns to apply  to the Board of Pesticides Control for approval of new plans. 

Many in the committee remain opposed to the bill, especially as an infringment on municipal Home Rule which allows towns to pass ordinances that are strong than certain state laws.

The committee voted to hold another worksession Wednesday before voting on the controversial bill. 

Three Penobscot Bay towns have pesticide ordinances Rockland, Owls Head and Castine  Twenty six other Maine towns also have such ordinances.

May 6, 2017



Supporters of the MAV floating wind turbines plan have yet to take seriously (let alone discuss) the predicted effects of the project on the hydrodynamics of the Gulf of Maine off Penobscot Bay.

Yet the scientific consensus is that the wind shadow of reduced wind velocity (-25%) immediately downwind of an ocean windbturbine continues well into the water column below. The reduced velocity of those waters, compared to the water outside the windfarm's shadow, results in creation of an upwelling of waters from the lower water column to the surface.
As Norwegian expert Goran Brostrom, who's familiar with Maine's offshore wind plans, puts it, a wind decrease of 25% corresponds to a 50% decrease in wind stress at the surface. By the time 20 years have blown past, the two floating turbines chugging away will have earned hundreds of million dollars or more selling electricity. This money will then be used to set up more of them further offshore Focusing on whether the project saves carbon providing provide electricity for Monheganians

May 2, 2017

Me Legis Committee hears testimony for and against bill challenging Monhegan floating wind farm siting.

On May 2, 2017, the Maine Legislature's Energy Utilities and Technology  Committee heard testimony for and against LD 1262  An Act To Protect Monhegan Island by Limiting Wind Turbines.   Below, listen to mp3s of each speaker

Full hearing 3hr 31min  (hearing was already underway)


Intro by Maine Senator Dana Dow Lincoln County  5min (in progress)


Travis Dow 4min 46sec 

Kathie Ianicelli. 3min 10sec  Monhegan


Angela Monroe Governor's Energy Office & QA 12min


Jessica Stevens 3min30sec

Tara Heyer 4min38sec


Cole Lord  2min30sec


John Murdoch 2min 54sec


Marian Joffee  5min45sec


Angela Ianicelli  3min 40sec

Chris Oneill  3min 15sec


Don Lathrop 3min 35sec


Winnie Murdoch, 3min 25sec

Mary Webber, 2min 35sec

George Hart, Tenants Hbr 2min35sec

Jackie Boegal 4min 15sec

Andrew Fennemann friends of Muscongus Bay. 4min 15sec

Julie Eaton MLU 3min 40sec

Kim Ervin Tucker  6min 50sec

Doug Boynton_Tenants Harbor. 1min32sec

Lucas Chaffee  3min 17sec

Speaker from__plantation. 2min30sec

David Edson of James Sewall Co 3min 18sec

Jay Morancy (?) 5min25sec

Mal Carey 3min 43sec

Jeff Thaler UMaine Counsel 15min

Waldo Wales, 3min 38sec

Paul Hitchcox_birder 3min 31sec

Chris Smith Monhegan power district. 1 min 25sec

Peabody Consultant 2min 5sec

____Weber_55sec

Jim Belanyea_METF 

Group of UME students & profs 12min 43sec

Anthony Viselli UME  3min 50sec

Robin McCoy 3min 30sec

Alison Hill 1min30sec

Joyce Blakeney 2min 45sec

Pamela Rollinger 3min

Barbara Hitchcock 2min 45sec

Haley MacDougal  2min 32sec

Habib Dagher & QA 7min

Dylan Vorhees NRCM  3min 30sec

Derek Lovitch 3min 13sec

Kathy Leeman 3min_45sec

Doug Hitchcox  3min22sec

Dan Reilly 4min 28sec

James Monroe 2min18sec

Jake Ward 5min 45sec

Susanne McDonald to end 3min 4sec




































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Maine Legislature's Agriculture Conservation & Forestry Mommittee hears pesticide bill LD 1505

Apr 27, 2017

Maine aquaculture - Big changes coming Monday

On Monday, the Maine Legislature holds public hearings on bills promising big changes to Maine's aquaculture laws. Links to the bills below and at the Marine Resources Committee webpage http://legislature.maine.gov/audio/#206 (scroll down to Monday)

Official summary "This bill transfers authority for the licensing of land-based aquaculture from the Department of Marine Resources to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry."

Official Summary:"This bill amends the law regarding municipal shellfish conservation programs to clarify that the intertidal zone extends from the high-water mark to the extreme low-water mark and that the shellfish conservation ordinances apply only within the intertidal zones of municipalities."

Official Summary "This bill creates an aquaculture license that exempts the holder from certain requirements in law to hold a separate license for the removal, possession, transport or sale of cultured marine organisms and authorizes the holder to remove, possess, transport or sell cultured marine organisms."

Official summary "This bill amends the aquaculture leasing and licensing laws. It removes the prohibition on the provision by the Department of Marine Resources of promotional and marketing assistance to the aquaculture industry. It extends the potential term of an aquaculture lease from 10 to 20 years. It changes the order of preference for lease applications to include in the 2nd position an individual who currently holds a limited-purpose aquaculture license for the area. It provides a process by which a holder of a standard lease could seek an expansion of the lease area by up to 10% once during the duration of the lease without having to apply for a new lease. It places the licensed activities and criteria for limited-purpose aquaculture licenses in separate statutory provisions. It requires a limited-purpose aquaculture license holder to specify if the license is for commercial or personal use and to identify the growing area and current classification of the area. It adds consideration of any risk to public health to the criteria used in determining whether to grant a limited-purpose aquaculture license. It adds to the eligibility criteria for a limited-purpose aquaculture license the completion of any educational courses that may be required by the Commissioner of Marine Resources."