Nov 30, 2012

Night Four 11/29/12. DCP vs locals struggle continues: Listen to the people testify against the megatank plan.

Listen to speakers at the November 29, 2012 public hearing in Searsport on the DCP Midstream plan to build an LPG gas megatank on Mack Point (downloadable mp3s) Landowners, Business owners and Islesboro Islanders have their say.
Listen to audios from all week

Introduction by Bruce Probert, Searsport Planning Board Chair 2min 10sec

First Panel   (SECOND & THIRD PANELS ARE BELOW)

Introduction of TBNT panel by Steve Hinchman 2min

Testimony of Tom Gocze 8min 15sec

Testimony of  Diane Stevens 4min 
 
Testimony of Kevin Kelly 1 min 15 sec

Testimony of J Lucas 8min 45 sec

Testimony of Ted Kessler 4min 12 sec

Testimony of Elaine Tucker  3 min

Cross Examination of above panel by DCP atty James Kilbreth 18 min 50 sec

Second Panel 

Introduction to Second panel  12 sec

Jay Economy 4min 15 sec

Brenda Liston  15min 25 sec

Laurie Schweikart 7min 20 sec

Phyllis Sommer 8min 37 sec

Rick Schweikhart 4min

Steve Tanguay 10 min 48 sec

Board Q&A 5min

DCP Q&A  Jay McCormack 6min 28sec

DCP Q&A Brenda Liston 5min 43 sec

DCP Q&A Phyllis Sommer 5min

DCP Q&A Schweikart 1min 19sec

DCP Q&S Steve Tanguay 3min 15sec

Dave Gelinas Q&A 2min

Board QA

THIRD PANEL. ISLESBORO ISLANDERS

Introduction and Steve Miller 19min 35sec

Andrew Coombs 53 sec

Bill Warren 2min 52 sec

Bill Boardman  2min 39sec

Alison Wood (static first 12 seconds) 5min 13sec

Arch Gillies 10min 27sec

Board Q&A 1 min 39sec

DCP Kilbreth Q&A #1  8min 16sec

DCP Kilbreth Q&S #2 2min 18sec

David Gelinas Q&A 9min 22 sec

Steve Hinchman "Cleanup Questions" 2min 55sec

DCP Kilbreth Final question, end of hearing 1min


END


















Nov 29, 2012

Tank battle rages in Searsport for third night - reports


Searsport's planning board has held  three  public hearings this week on  gas middleman giant DCP Midstream's increasingly sketchy plan to build a liquified petroleum gas megatank in the remaining Mack Point Woods, the buffer between existing oil and gas tank farms and  both Penobscot Bay and  US Route 1.
(Listen to audios from all week)

MONDAY NIGHT 11/26/12:  the Searsport planning board  ruled on a succession of would be  interested parties;
Dave Italiaander of Searsport getting interested party status
Approved: Thanks But No Tank, Ed Bearor representing the (owner of Baits Motel); Friends of (part of) Sears Island , Ann Flack & Janet Williams representing "the retirees"; Dave Gelinas, Penobscot River and Bay Pilots,  David Italiaander, Chris Hyke, Phyllis Somer, Arlene Leighton, Diane Messer.

Denied City of Belfast (no show); Arlene Leighton; Charlene Farris Searsport historian;
Nancy Galland and Joelle Madiec, both residents of Stockton Springs.

Dr. Phani Raj
TUESDAY NIGHT 11/27/12: DCP's dog U& pony show; their hired guns, like industry expert Phani Raj,  earning their pay by showing power point presentations of questionable data and images, purporting to show what a wonderful harmless, innocuous, patriotic opportunity they were offering to area residents. Their pettifoggery instead earned each of them a goodly share of contemptuous laughter from the citizenry arrayed before them.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT 11/28/12 Tensions flare as police scuffle with, remove elderly Mainer from the public hearing, which featured a presentation of the "Fannon Report. (47pg pdf) a study of the economic impact of the tank on municipal services, property values, tourism, and property taxes prepared by Nancy Fannon

Hinchman for the People
Meeting attendee reports:  "Attorneys for TBNT Steve Hinchman and for Angler’s Restaurant, Ed Bearor, shredded her presentation and methodology.

Among the shortcomings illustrated by cross examination was a basic lack of a fact check on any information provided to her by town officials."  Ken Agabian noted that Fannon cites the economic base of Searsport as small boat building and industrial businesses,

[An economic hegemony long vanished from the waterfront,  found only in this waterfront town's Penobscot Marine Museum. -ed]
Later, Nancy Fannon did admit there would be a negative effect on property value which she could not easily quantify and a negative effect of tourism.  Her report can be read on the www.TBNT.org website under the document’s page.
Ken Agabian of TBNT wrote  that Cross examination of DCP Midstream safety and project management personnel focused  on three concerns  (1) why are there no “exclusion zone” around the tank similar to LPG tanker vessels; (2) DCP admitted in the last year there has only been ONE tanker to deliver LPG to their facility in Chesapeake, VA  and (3)  one of the only other rural LPG facilities that DCP operates is in Berlin, VT with total storage capacity of just 90,000 gallons.  This is in stark contrast with their plans for Searsport."

Police Action: The Bangor Daily News reported " A confrontation between police and opponents of a liquid propane tank under consideration by the town planning board erupted in the lobby outside the meeting Wednesday night after an officer evicted an elderly man. Almost three hours into the meeting in the Searsport District High School cafeteria.".click for full story
TBNT response to police action. Spokesperson for TBNT KIen Agabian  issued a statement that "the removal from the audience of a TBNT member engaged in a conversation with me from the audience was completely uncalled for and the actions of an overzealous officer".

"We truly hope it is the first and last time we witness this. We have spoken to the police chief and asked him in no uncertain terms for assurances for Chairman Probert to run the hearings. There was no disturbing the testimony or disrupting the proceedings in any way until the police officer took it upon himself to respond in an action which was wholly uncalled for. What the member was objecting to is the Searsport Planning Board’s consultant answering questions on DCP’s behalf. This is wrong and should not continue"

Below the photo:the Fannon report.
Will forest in lower half of photo  be bulldozed, blasted & coated w/concrete & steel?.

Fannon Report  According to a meeting participant, the Fannon Report, funded by DCP, "basically leaned toward discounting any negative effects and accentuating what few positive effects existed."  The study examined the impact of an LPG terminal in Turkey and concludes that  residents of a Turkish coastal area were not upset when their ocean views were obscured. Therefore Americans of Penobscot Bay should too. Oooookay....

Still to come:
Night Four of Tank Battle of Searsport. In which TBNT and Islesboro Islands Trust show their mettle.

Nov 28, 2012

Will DCP wreck Penobscot Bay for a tax writeoff?

The Searsport Planning Board held its second night of  public hearings on the controversial proposal by Colorado based Liquid Petroleum gas distributor DCP Midstream to set up the east coast's biggest LPG tank in Searport Maine.
 DCP's hired dogs and ponies earned their pay by showing power point presentations of masses of highly questionable data and images, purporting to show what a wonderful harmless, innocuous, patriotic opportunity they were offering to area residents. The pettifoggery instead earned each of them a goodly share of contemptuous laughter from the citizenry arrayed before them.
Dr. Phani Raj
 One of DCP's hired guns, "industry expert" Dr Phani Raj , earned the most hisses and mocking laughter. Self described as a longtime master of every fact about LPG, from  the engineering  specifications for plants to the safety and security systems, Dr Strangelove-like, Doctor Raj wanted the people to love this bomb of a megatank.
 Perfectly safe, he assured the crowd, flipping through powerpoints.  While a BLEVE or other mishap was possible, it would never happen. Even the planning board was taken aback by Dr Raj's optimistic fortunetelling. The good doctor's prophetic sense failed him however, when asked by the lawyer repping the owner of the Baits Motel what would happen if terrorists whacked the tank. Would it withstand it? Or would  area residents and their millions of visitors be subject to sudden incineration syndrome?  LPG super expert Raj shrugged. Not his department. This sudden drop in omniscience resulted in hoots and guffaws among the audience, and stern looks from the Searport planning board officials

Then it was Question Time!
 DCP's smoke and mirrors melted away under questioning from the People and  several attorneys aiding them in the struggle against the corporados.


David Italiaander quizzed DCP officials over the financial irrationality of building this 22.4 million gallon import tank  (5 minute mp3 )at a time when domestic propane supplies are at historic highs.
David Italiaander
"How long," Italiaander asked, "will DCP lose $120 million dollars a year importing propane?"  He observed that most energy industry analysts agree that thanks to the new technology of hydro-fracking, propane stocks are projected to be abundant domestically into the foreseeable future.
David Italiaander, right, quizzes DCP
"Are we really to believe that you're going to invest 100s of millions of dollars in losses, to have a terminal that might in 10 or 15 years - if the market turns around -  make money? That's really what you're asking us to believe?" Italiaander asked. "Is that really your contention?"

Company officials hemmed and hawed. The market is fickle, they said.  Maybe someday it WILL be profitable? Who knows? Their inability to explain the reason for the megatank  project, given the tremendous losses the company would incur operating it, makes one wonder: What is really going on? Is exporting, rather than importing propane the real plan?

For, Italiaander pointed out, while DCP Midstream would lose hundreds of millions  a year importing propane through Searsport, the company would turn a tidy profit by exporting liquified propane out of the US at Searsport.

Many others spoke before Italiaander. Their voices will appear here as they come available.

One can't help but wonder if it is as simple and tawdry as a highranking DCP official  in charge of the project with relatives or friends among the Colorado contractors that would swarm the site, deforesting, bulldozing and blasting the Mack Point woods into oblivion,  erecting a perfectly useless eyesore on the coast of Penobscot Bay, then taking their pay and going home?

Will Penobscot Bay be sacrificed to help DCP's tax accountants with a loss leader?

Or will Searsport become a planetary disgrace, vomiting out LPG by the tankerload to boost carbon consumption around the planet?

Neither prospect is good!

Nov 26, 2012

DCP 's DRAFT permit approval: for DCP: Write!

Friends
Please read and react to the draft permit that Maine DEP is proposing to grant to DCP, the Colorado  gasser-wannabees that want to set up their fell LPG tank in Searsport

Read the draft permit here (pdf file)

Email your words to MDEP's Jim Beyer <jim.r.beyer@maine.gov>,

Jim Beyer
Division of Land Resources Regulation
Maine Department of Environmental Protection
106 Hogan Road
Bangor, Maine 04401


It's your bay.
Deal with it!

Nov 21, 2012

Lobster Processing: why Maine BANNED it in 1895.

York Island lobster fleet 1894
Maine celebrated when the state legislature banned  lobster  processing in 1895.  Huh?
Why?  Because thanks to the new national railroads, postal services and telegraphy, the national & international market for processed Maine lobster meat exploded out of control in the 1890s and threatened to drive lobsters into commercial extinction.  
A hundred and twenty years later, and processing is back.  The processed lobster meat may be frozen or refrigerated today, not canned, but the same impossible enforcement problems faced by Maine's 19th century marine wardens will apply today, as more and more processors open up, and as market demand exceeds production.

 Read below excerpts from Maine Sea  and Shore Fisheries  Reports from between 1901 and 1908 describing what happened, and why the Maine legislature and Governor acted and shut all lobster processors in the state down 
(Note: back then, lobsters were measured from tip of snout to fork of the tail, so the legal sizes mentioned in these reports are larger than today's carapace-only measure.)
"Lobsters....This fishery should have more than a passing notice. It is worthy of protection. It is a home industry. As each year rolls around more men, more boats, more traps, are being added to the business. It is unlike any other fishing. There is no salting, no curing, no waiting for a market, no anxiety about a market. They are staple goods as gold from Klondike mines.

"Prior to '95 we had many canning factories on our coast, whose only business was to can lobsters from April 15 to July 15 upwards of nine inches in length. The lobster business was almost annihilated. The can lobster filled almost every grocery store from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The people of the great West knew only canned lobster. Prior to '95 there had never been a live lobster shipped beyond the western border of New York state. 

"Lobsters had become scarce on our coast owing to the constant drain upon the small lobsters for factories. One of the methods of destruction in the canning days was the habit of carrying from three to five inches lobsters before the close time was off, crowding from 3,000 to 5,000 into space not large enough for 2,000, and on the 15th of April when the factories
-------------------------
"could secure them, more than half of the small fish were dead. It is said that one million were lost in this way each spring. We had but five wardens then and they were very poorly paid to look after the business. I have only shown a part of the willful destruction under the old law to compare with what has been done under the law of '95, when factories practicallywent out of business, never to return, I hope.

"The 10 and 1/2-inch law is the best for the protection of the young lobsters we have ever had. The fishermen claim that it is the salvation of the lobster industry, but it does not suit everyone - the violators or the summer tourists.

"The business has increased since '95. The number of men has increased four-fold ; the traps and gear have increased; the prices received have increased; pounds from four in '95 to twenty-three in 1902. Steam smacks have taken the place of sailing smacks; rapid transit and refrigerator cars are carrying our lobsters all over our country. 

Each year the demand is greater, and the question is - Can we ever supply the demand? Answer - Yes. Good liberal appropriations, great care and attention will increase the supply of lobsters and all will be benefited thereby.
-------------------------

"Now take the lobster law. There are certain clauses in our lobster law which make it very hard to enforce. The clause 'mutilated, uncooked lobsteris prima facie evidence of their being short,' while mutilated cooked lobsters although short are all right. I have found in several instances mutilated cooked claws and tails of lobsters. If not less than the required length where were the bodies of these lobsters ?

"The lobster dealers may say it will hurt their business to make a law stopping the sale and transportation of lobster meat, but it should be done. What is the lobster meat that the dealers sell? It is nothing more or less than 'dead' lobster which they pick out of their cars every morning and boil and pick out the meat. Now this is no guessing, but something that I have seen for years. 

"Another way the dealers get rid of a good many dead lobsters is by selling them to the hawkers or peddlers, and they will take all they can get. In certain localities the fishermen will break the claws and tails from the bodies and throw the bodies away. At their homes someone will have the water hot and in a few minutes the claws and tails will be cooked, so the wardens cannot take them if they can get into their houses, which they can't do without a search warrant which is about impossible to get."  Letter from Warden George E. Cushman.
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"Warden Isaac H. Snow states in his letter: "I would have the lobster law changed so that wardens can take mutilated lobsters cooked as well as uncooked."
-------------------------


 Page 40 THE CANNING INDUSTRY.
"From the introduction of the lobster canning process at Eastport, about 1842, dates the beginning of the extensivecanning interests of the United States in all its branches. Lobster canning was first attempted in the United States at Eastport shortly after 1840, and was made successful in 1843, the method finally employed having been borrowed from Scotland, which country is said to have learned the process from France.
For the successful introduction of the same into the United States we are indebted to Mr. Charles Mitchell, who at that time resided in Halifax, N. S., who learned his trade of John Moir & Son of Aberdeen, Scotland, the first Scotch firm, it is claimed, to put up hermetically sealed preparations of meat and fish.

"Mr. U. S. Treat, a native of Maine, appears to have been most active and influential in starting the enterprise and introducing canned goods into the markets of the United States. Mr. Treat, with a Mr. Noble of Calais, and a Mr. Holliday, a native of Scotland, started the business of manufacturing hermetically sealed goods in Eastport in 1842, experimenting with lobsters, salmon, and haddock. Their capital was limited, appliances crude, and many discouraging canning difficulties were encountered. The experiments were continued for two years with varying success and in secret, no outsiders being allowed to enter their bathing room.

"In 1843 they secured the services of Mr. Charles Mitchell, who moved to Eastport. After Mr. Mitchell's arrival in Eastport no further difficulty was experienced in the bathing or other
Page 40
-------------------------

"preparations of the lobsters, and a desirable grade of goods was put up, but found no sale, as such preparations were unknown in our markets. Mr. Treat visited our large cities with samples, but was unable to make sales except on consignment. In 1846 Mr. Treat purchased the island between Eastport and Lubec, which has ever since been known as Treat's Island. In 1854 to 1856 we find him shipping canned lobsters to California. In 1850 there were but three canneries in the United States. In 1856 J. Winslow Jones of Portland commenced canning. In 1843 a one-pound can of lobster sold for five cents, three and one-half pounds, live weight, were required to make a one pound can. No lobsters weighing less than two pounds were then used for canning.

"Concerning the period from 1850 to 1880 sufficient information has not been collected to furnish a connected history of the progress of lobster canning.

"In 1880 there were twenty-three canneries on the coast of Maine, and over forty in the British provinces controlled by United States capital. The combined cash capital invested in the twenty-three factories in Maine was $289,834.

"In addition to the cannery buildings, the several Portland firms which were operating canneries had factories in that city for the manufacture of tin cans and wooden cases, and also warehouses for the storage of the finished product.

"Of the twenty-three , canneries in this State in 1880 ten prepared lobsters only, six, lobsters and mackerel, one,lobsters and clams, six, lobsters, mackerel and clams, and one of the last also put up salmon, fish chowder, and clam chowder.

"In 1879 the factory at Southwest Harbor began to put up lobsters in the shell for export trade. They were boiled, the tail bent under the body, and then packed in cylindrical tin cans twelve and fourteen inches long, put into the cans dry, bathed afterwards and vented in the usual manner. These lobsters were used chiefly for garnishing dishes for the table. In 1879 Mr. J. W. Jones estimated the average weight of lobsters taken for all purposes in Maine 1 ½ pounds; N. S., 2 pounds; Bay of Chaleurs, 2 ½ and Magdaline Islands, 3 pounds.
In 1879 one small steamer was used for collecting lobsters for the factory at Castine. The smacks of that time had an average
Page 41
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valuation of about three hundred and fifty dollars ($350). The price obtained by the fishermen in 1880 average about one dollar per hundred (count) for canning lobsters. It is reckoned in 1880 that 9,494,284 pounds oflobsters were used at the Maine canneries, valued at $94,943, from the fishermen, and the number of men supplying the same was not far from 1,200, and nearly, if not quite all of these, were also interested in selling to market smacks, which yielded much greater profits.

From the 9,494,284 pounds of live lobster used by the canneries 2,000,000 pounds of canned lobsters, valued at $238,000 were put up on the coast of Maine. No account of the total production of canned lobsters on the coast of Maine during past years is at hand for comparison with those of 1880, but the fact of a very great falling off in the production from year to year is well known, and can be proved by the statistics of small sections. It is stated that the total production of 1880 was greatly exceeded, in ten years previous to that date, by that of a few canneries alone.
-----------------------------------
"Until 1842 lobsters were not in sufficient number at Eastport to induce people to fish for them. The canning oflobsters having commenced at Eastport in that year, smacks were sent to the western part of our State for their supplies. In 1855 they first began to fish extensively for lobsters about Eastport.
-------------------------

"In searching for information in relation to the production of our State, I find that the first report of the Fish Commissioners of Maine was made in 1867, the year that I first set foot on Maine soil. From that time forward to 1884 the lobster is never mentioned in any report of the State Commissioners, notwithstanding the canning industry was going on at that time. Salmon and fresh water fish seemed to have had most of the attention of the Commissioners during that period.
-------------------------
"There seems to be no way to compare the production of today with that of the seventies and eighties, for, during the canning period from 1855 to 1890, the U. S. Fish Commission's Report is the only source from which any reliable information is obtainable. In that year, 1880, there were sold to smacks and canners in Maine 14,234,182 pounds of lobsters. At that time they say only lobsters weighing 2 pounds were used for canning. We will figure them as weighing 2 pounds each, which will make the catch of that year 7,117,026 in count, and these were caught by the use of 104,456 pots, which shows an average catch to each pot of 68 lobsters. Thus it is shown at that time our production was far ahead of today. From about that date the catch decreased very rapidly until in 1895, when as I have said elsewhere, laws were enacted to stop the wholesale slaughter which was being made by our canneries, for at that time they were canning those nine inches long, and even smaller.
-------------------------

The canning business, which received the blow given by the legislature of 1895 when it repealed the nine-inch law died in that year, and with the death of the canning industry the lobster business of the State commenced to revive. I consider that in 1893 the business was at its lowest ebb, and since that date, according to statistics, thelobster supply has steadily but slowly increased.

"Our protective laws at the present time, if observed, are adequate; the transportation facilities ample, and the business generally, appears to be in a healthy condition among the dealers. If it is not so with the fishermen then they have only themselves to blame. The laws were enacted at their instigation, and wholly for their benefit, and it lies wholly with them, whether or not they are observed, for if they never save anything but a legal lobster the law never can be violated, no smacksman will be able to purchase one, no dealer can buy or sell one, no person can get any but a legal lobster to eat. 

"In short, unless the fishermen for whom the short lobster law was enacted, save short lobsters nobody in our State can violate it unless by importing from some other state or country. It would seem to anyone not familiar with fishermen and their movements that this would be a simple solution of the whole problem, when by observance of the laws by them ( for whose benefit the law was made, and who know as well as you or I that every violation made by a fisherman is an injury to his own business as well as to his brother fisherman's) that to observe the law would be the only thing he would do.

-------------------------

"Many years ago one of the leading industries connected with the fisheries were the canning factories. These flourished at a time when lobsters were very plentiful, and the regular market price was one cent a pound to the factories and three cents apiece for large lobsters for private use. The fishing season then extended from March to rough weather in the fall, no fishing being done during the winter months. 

"These factories preferred small lobsters, and it would be impossible to estimate the enormous number of young lobsters used by them even in a single season.These factories were the first cause of a large decrease in the annual catch. A law was finally passed making the legal length for canning the same as for ordinary use and it was hoped that the decrease would cease: but the closing of the factories did not stop the destruction of small lobsters. neither did it give the proper protection to the seed-bearing lobster.
The fishermen still continue to
-------------------------
"use the small lobster, even using them for cunner trap bait and hen-food. They also continued, after it became illegal to do so, to rub the seed from the spawn of female lobster, and sell them to the lobster buyers with the other market lobsters. These practices were not only common, but the usual methods of most fishermen. Is it any wonder that the catch became smaller and smaller each year until corrective measures were taken? 

"Finally our legislature passed a law making it illegal to have in possession any lobster below a prescribed length, ten and one-half inches, now three and three-fourths inches body measure; and made a general appropriation for the Department of Sea and Shore fisheries, which provided funds, for a warden service to enforce the law.  

"Their experience from using lobsters of that size has been that they are practically exterminating the speciesAt a meeting recently held in Boston. which was attended by commissioners and representatives of the several states, it was unanimously

"agreed that the Maine legal length, method of measurement, etc., are the best to adopt."

Nov 19, 2012

Maine's Enviro--chief thumbs her nose at citizens.

Below, read how  Maine Environmental Commissioner Patty Aho's long career as a petroleum industry lobbyist is guiding her approach to citizen unhappiness with rampaging mega gas company DCP Midstream Partners.

BACKSTORY Hundreds of Mainers have asked her and her minions to hold a public hearing on the Denver based gas giant's enormous proposal that would savage half the remaining forest of the upper bay's Long Cove, while protruding a permanent eyesore into upper Penobscot Bay's hitherto tourist-attracting $cenic $kyline, not to mention .  But no reason there to hold a hearing, Aho found.  Citing a technicality or two, Maine's head of "Environmental Protection" for the state has seen to it that the megaproject's impacts to the environmental will not be examined closely, as a public hearing  not a single public hearing.










CIRCLE OF OPPOSITION GROWS TO DCP'S GIANT LIQUIFIED PETROLEUM GAS TANK PLAN

(From press releases and reports)
On Sunday November 18th, regional opponents of Denver-based DCP Midstream's proposed huge LPG tank/terminal converged in Belfast to illustrate the gigantic 202' diameter bootprint  DCP's mega-tank would have. As the People later departed, they sang Peter Seeger's "This land is your land" (mp3). (con'td below)
Photo by Peter Taber
 For more than a year, Thanks But No Tank! has asked for a scale model of the project. To date, DCP Midstream Partners, LP and its new subsidiary, the limited liability company "DCP Searsport LLC" have refused . 

The giant petroleum gas distribution  company's project would devour the Mack Point Woods between Route !1 and Long Cove,  and bulldoze and blast its wetlands-rich soils down to bedrock, turning half of Long Cove's watershed from nutrient-donating forest and wetlands to concrete,steel and asphalt .....
 Exasperated citizens  responded to  fliers and e-notes bu gathering Sunday to let the public see how enormous the 22.3 million gallon liquified petroleum gas tank would be if constructed.Close to 250 people from across the Midcoast region took part in the action, demonstrating the LPG mega-tank is a regional concern. 
Photo by Peter Wilkinson
In the 4th photograph, taken after the great circle converged to its center,  a balloon is visible, aloft at 14 stories - 138 feet in the air - to show the height the giant tank would rise, if it were ever built. As far as the attendees were concerned, that is by no means a done deal.
 
photo by Ron Huber
As a pointed yet gentle reminder to the powers-that-be, the citizens ended their event by  singing Peter Seeger's "This land is your land" (mp3).

To all the organizers, to all who got word out, and most of all to all to those who stood together and participated: 

Job well done!

Nov 13, 2012

Penobscot Bay's (and Maine's) intertidal ecosystems explained.

Explore the mighty intertidal world, a band of wildlife that stretches for thousands of miles around every bit of the Maine coast and her tidal rivers and streams. Abagail Manahan, oceanographer and educator  produced a great guide to Maine's intertidal ecology: Maine Intertidal Zone Investigation when she worked at Bigelow Lab.  Read on here for a quick summary

Begin your intertidal journey at its highest point:
* The Spray zone where  salt droplets fall on dry land. Yellow and white lichens tolerate the occasional dash of salt as they nibble away at the boulders.
  ***************************************
* The Upper Intertidal zone, covered by water only briefly during highest tides. Rough periwinkles, cyanobacteria and filamentous green & red algae. 
*********************************
* Next down to the Mid Intertidal zone, covered and uncovered by sea water twice a day with  passing tides. Dominant life: mussels & barnacles compete for space. 
*********************************
* Heading  down,  reach the Lower Intertidal zone. Here brown and red seaweeds rise into waist-high forests at high tide and fall flat at low tides.  

  *******************************

* Below the surface to the Shallow Subtidal zone. Submerged except extreme low tides. Most diverse intertidal habitat. Dominated by red algae, periwinkles and sea urchins:

Nov 7, 2012

Penobscot Bay & River Dredging 101

Here is a compendium  of articles and websites from 1990 to 2012  about dredging in Penobscot Bay and River. (Last time Searsport harbor was dredged was 2000, River in 1008).
Mack Pt Dredging 1966

Useful  background material to help you understand the dredging permit process , how things got to where they are now, and who is doing what. (This blog entry will  be updated, so check back occasionally)
 
Army Corps of Engineers Searsport Dredging Plan webpage (updated  March 2012)

Searsport Harbor Dredge Spoil testing 1990-2002
Briggs Testing of Maine (based in Belfast) did the 1990 testing, and North East Laboratory, (of Waterville) did the 1992 testing. Note the lead and mercury in the samples.


Mercury Testing of upper Penobscot Bay and lower river  sediments 2008  (pdf)
"...Mercury in the offshore sediments of the Penobscot estuary were highest in the upper estuary and decreased in a regular pattern to Vinalhaven Island, where they were similar to those in the uncontaminated reference estuary. ....The high concentrations of [mercury] in the sediments of the lower Penobscot River and upper estuary.... are higher than NOAA levels of concern for toxic effects on aquatic life."

Maine DEP Dredging application
  http://www.maine.gov/dep/land/nrpa/fsdredg.htm

Maine DMR  Brian Swan: DMR’s "Environmental Coordinator" including dredging permits.   see his webpage 

DAMOS website (Disposal Area MOnitoring System)  New England District Army Corps of Engineers; manages and monitors dredge disposal sites, Long Island Sound to Mainehttp://www.nae.usace.army.mil/damos/index.asp

News Articles and Blog entries 2000 - 2009
April 2000
Lobstermen Oppose Dredge Spoil Dump. Ellsworth American
http://ellsworthamerican.com/archive/news2000/04-20-00/ea_news4_04-20-00.html

May 2000 Fishermen's Voice "MACK POINT POLLUTION  May 2000  (partial article
August 2000 Paul Molyneaux, August 06, 2000 New York Times

April 2002.Working Waterfront  Dredge Committee wraps it up


July 2005 Rockland Disposal Site 2005 Bay Blog

Sept 2007  Dredge Spoils from the former Eastern Fine Paper mill site in Brewerheaded for Rockland Disposal Site.  Bay Blog
http://penobscotbay.blogspot.com/2007/09/paper-company-dredge-spoils-could-end.html

March 13, 2009  Listen to a 7 minute audio excerpt from the March 13, 2009 meeting of ME legislature's Transportation Committee. In the recording, Commissioner Cole talks about using $timulus money for dredging near Sears island.

Sept 2009  Sears Island - dredging of island approaches may rise again  Bay Blog
Includes Recording of legislative hearing in 2009  on the Searport dredging bill whose ultimate poison fruit is in the Transportation Bond that just got approved

http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/projects/searsport.htm

Nov 6, 2012

Penobscot Bay POTW permit & licenses 2007 - 2012

Tenants Harbor

Penobscot Bay  Sea Hag    MEPDES Permit 2012    Enforcement info

Rockland
Rockland (Atlantic Ocean) Rockland POTW, City of (PDF) (25 pp, 216K) ME0100595 11/21/2009
Rockland (Atlantic Ocean) Rockland POTW, City of (PDF) (84 pp, 229K) ME0100595 12/21/2007
Rockland (Rockland Harbor) Rockland POTW, City of (PDF) (13 pp, 102K) ME0100595 01/31/2008
Rockland (Rockland Harbor) Rockland, City of; Waste Snow Dump (PDF) (29 pp, 2MB) ME0036323 04/12/2012
Rockland (Rockland Harbor) Rockland, City of; Waste Snow Dump (PDF) (15 pp, 817K)

Camden (Camden Harbor Watershed) Camden, Town of (PDF) (32 pp, 3MB) ME0100137 07/18/2003


Belfast
http://www.epa.gov/region1/npdes/permits/2011/finalme0101532permit.pdf
Belfast Moore’s Septic, Inc. (PDF) (40 pp, 3.2MB) MEU508259 10/03/2012
Belfast (Atlantic Ocean, Belfast Harbor) Belfast POTW, City of (PDF) (81 pp, 3.2MB) ME0101532 02/18/2011

Searsport Stockton Harbor GAC Chemical 2011 
Searsport (Penobscot Bay) Searsport, Town of (PDF) (79 pp, 1.4MB) ME0101966 11/12/2008

Islesboro (East Penobscot Bay) Islesboro, Town of (PDF) (11 pp, 1.8MB) ME0100269 01/20/2012

Castine Castine POTW, Town of (PDF) (15 pp, 55K) ME0101192 03/12/2008
Castine (Castine Harbor) Castine POTW, Town of (PDF) (77 pp, 2.3MB) ME0101192 12/29/2009


North Haven (Fresh Pond) North Haven DWTP, Town of (PDF) (34 pp, 1.1MB) ME0102482 08/02/2012
North Haven (Fresh Pond) North Haven DWTP, Town of (PDF) (22 pp, 1.1MB) ME0102482 06/15/2007


Vinalhaven (Atlantic Ocean) Vinalhaven POTW, Town of (PDF) (49 pp, 2.1MB) ME0102491 11/15/2007