Jul 9, 2015

Searsport Mega Dredge: the Four Criteria that the dredge project must meet to be taken up by the BEP

Requests for Maine Board of Environmental Protection to take Jurisdiction over Searsport mega dredge application must meet at least three of these four criteria.

* Will have an environmental or economic impact in more than one municipality,     territory or county;
*  Involves an activity not previously permitted or licensed in the State;
* Is likely to come under significant public scrutiny; and
* Is located in more than one municipality, territory or county.

Let's look at those four in regard to this dredge project:

* Will have an environmental or economic impact in more than one municipality, territory or county.  
YES.  Up to six towns.The sediments would be dredged in  Searsport  and dumped in waters shared by Belfast and Islesboro. In addition the plume from the spoils would likely spread to Northport's waters.  Bangor civic organizations have declared that their city will be significantly benefited by the dredge project. Finally some of the waste would be landfilled. Local options are limited; it may need to go to the Orrington landfill.

*  Involves an activity not previously permitted or licensed in the State; 
YES.  Never has so much spoils been dug out from one Maine harbor, and then  dumped (approximately 1,000 bargeloads)  into one location in inshore state waters.


Never has the state of Maine proposed approving such an economically damaging project on behalf of two foreign oil companies  that officials admit would suppress the lobster fisheries and mussel farming of at least two towns  for up to three years  -  with NO compensation - for a dredge project the applicant itself  freely admits will  at best save two or thee ships a year from having to wait in the Searsport anchorage a few hours before offloading at their Mack Point terminals

* Is likely to come under significant public scrutiny
YES The project has been and will continue to be under a great deal of public scrutiny! It has pitted towns against one another - Belfast and Islesboro against Searsport and Bangor.  Public  meetings and hearings have been held by municipalities,  by federal and state agencies and by non government organizations, to assist the public in their scrutiny of,  and observations about, this dredge proposal 

* Is located in more than one municipality, territory or county. 
YES. The dredging would take plan in Searsport, the dredge materials would be disposed of in waters shared by Belfast and Islesboro.

Looks like the proposed dredging project easily meets all four criteria!

More info on the criteria click here

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