Jun 28, 2015

Maine sewer management and three Penobscot bay towns

Maine  public sewer system is based on a municipal-scaled "Sewer District" system.
Definition:"Sewer district means a quasi-municipal corporation...established to construct and operate sewer systems to assist in the abatement of the pollution of public streams, lakes and inland and ocean waters."

Enabling state law: Title 38 Chapter 12   
See  Review  of  standards of  Maine state sewer district law  

 Title 38 Sec 1042. Sewer Extensions; applicable to all sewer districts

Section 1042 has two basic requirements to be met when proposing extending  sewer:
* The development to be served by the extended sewer - and the sewer pipe that would connect it to the wastewater treatment system - must both conform with "adopted municipal plans and ordinances regulating land use."

* Sewer districts must submit their operating plans to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection for review and approval

MDEP 2010 streams bays water quality appendices


1. Rockland  sewage plant EPA permit 

2. Rockland Sewerline extension data
"Should the City extend public sewer and water to encourage development? "

From Rockland Comprehensive Plan: 
Regional wastewater coordination.
"Rockland wastewater lines not only serve the City of Rockland, but they also currently serve portions of Owls Head, Thomaston, and Rockport.

"The Glen Cove area and the Samoset Hotel, both located in Rockport are served by the City of Rockland sewer system.

"Rockland provides sewer service to a limited number of homes on Ingraham's Hill in Owls Head the remaining portions of Owls Head has no wastewater treatment system. Other surrounding towns have no public sewer systems

Rockland Comprehensive plan
Marine Resources
" As water quality improves in the harbor, in part due to extension of sanitary sewers to the Ingrahams Hill section of Owls Head, the City could work with the Town in the event they wish to develop public facilities along the southern shore of Rockland Harbor. Construction on the sewer line began in May 2000. "

"Rockland wastewater lines not only serve the City of Rockland, but they also currently serve portions of Owls Head, Thomaston, and Rockport.

"The Glen Cove area and the Samoset Hotel, both located in Rockport are served by the City of Rockland sewer system.

"Rockland provides sewer service to a limited number of homes on Ingraham's Hill in Owls Head the remaining portions of Owls Head has no wastewater treatment system. Other surrounding towns have no public sewer systems



Rockport Village is served by the Town of Camden wastewater treatment facility. 

Rockport wastewater section of its comprehensive plan (go to pages 94-96)


Rockport Wastewater Commissioners March 2013  (See VI-c.)  (
... Tracy Murphy motioned to open as the Wastewater Commissioners. Seconded by Geoffrey Parker. VOTE: 5 FOR – 0 OPPOSED.

VI. Wastewater Commissioners
a. Commitment of Commercial Sewer User Rates for the period of January 2013. Kenneth McKinley motioned to commit the Sewer User Rates for the period of January 2013 for collection. Seconded by Tracy Murphy. VOTE: 5 FOR – 0 OPPOSED.

b. Discuss issues raised by the review of the existing Sewer Ordinance. 1) No requirement to connect if functioning septic system is in place, 2) required to connect if systems fails, 3) debt service required if sewer goes in front of dwelling.

 c. How to proceed with the idea of extending the Commercial Street sewer north from its current terminus in the vicinity of South Street. Do in conjunction with a southward extension of the sewer from Elwood Avenue to Rockville Street.
1) Sewer line expansion - +/- 1,600;’
2) Contact Woodward & Curran for cost estimate;
3) Seven (7) bed hospice facility on Pen Bay Medical Center site. The proposed Sewer Ordinance will not be completed in time for a vote in June.

The Glen Cove system is at 83% capacity. DEP will review at 90% capacity. The Town of Rockport is in discussion with Pen Bay Medical Center for a joint sewer line extension project. Establishing a bond will be discussed.

Tracy Murphy motioned to close as the Wastewater Commissioners...

Camden POTW  MEPDES permit

Camden Sewer Ordinance

Camden Comprehensive plan 


Actual and predicted development Penobscot Bay 1940-2050

DHHS separation of water mains and sewer mains 

Jun 22, 2015

Public access in West Penobscot Bay for kayaking, pleasure boating & recreational fishing

A detailed list of public access ramps and docks of west Penobscot Bay. The list starts at the southwestern tip Saint George's Port Clyde and Tenants Harbor, then travels up to the mouth of the bay in Stockton Springs then upriver as far as Brewer and back down through Bucksport to East Penobscot Bay down to Stonington 
Where Route 131 ends on the St. George peninsula, lies the Port Clyde Boat Ramp. This site is often crowded, especially when the ferry is in from Monhegan Island. Due to this congestion, parking is limited with no spaces reserved for boat trailers. A single cement boat ramp services the site and outhouses can be found at the ferry dock. Mackerel fishing from the town dock is a popular activity. 
Traveling north on Route 131 brings you to the village of Tenants Harbor. Along the shore on Commercial Street lies the Tenants Harbor Town Landing. This facility has a single cement boat ramp serviced by a float. Parking in the small lot is limited to 4 hours with no spaces for boat trailers.

Access to the Weskeag River and its locally known striped bass fishery can be had via the South Thomaston Town Landing. This site, located off Route 73, Has a single blacktop boat ramp and adequate parking. Shore fishing here can be excellent, especially below the Route 73 bridge. 

Snow Marine Park, on Mechanic Street (off Route 73) in Rockland's southend, is the busiest boat ramp in the area. Two cement ramps, a float, an outhouse and large parking lot can be found here. Be prepared to pay a fee if you plan to use the ramp. 
One of the most visited attractions in this region is the Rockland Breakwater Light. This mile long breakwater, which is constructed of large granite blocks, is used by both sightseers (the light house at the end of the breakwater is the chief draw) and fishermen. The catch of shore anglers fishing off the breakwater consists mostly of mackerel and pollock, with the occasional striped bass, cunner and black sea bass mixed in. To get to this site, take Waldo Avenue off Route I at the north end of town and follow shore access signs until you arrive at the breakwater. Parking here is limited at best.
Rockport Marine Park lies at the foot of Rockport Harbor. The park has one black-top boat ramp, picnic tables, benches, out-houses and several floats. Parking for this facility is adequate with a few places set aside for boat trailers. A fee is charged to use the ramp. Fishing off the Harbor Master's dock is permitted, but fishing off several other docks in the park is not allowed.
LINCOLNVILLE In the town of Lincolnville, next to the Maine State Ferry Landing and along Route 1, is the Lincolnville Beach Boat Ramp. This is a town maintained boat ramp. A launching fee is charged for use of the blacktop ramp, there is limited free parking in the town lot and an outhouse is nearby. When the town lot is full, paying to park in the state owned lot is an option.

The Northport Public Landing (no boat ramp here) is a popular shore fishing location, especially when mackerel are running. To get here, take the Shore Road off Route 1 at Northport and follow signs to the landing. Parking here is adequate.
Another good shore fishing site is off the Bayside Town Dock in the village of Bayside. Follow the Shore Road north to Bayside Road to arrive at this location. Parking here is limited at best. 

The Belfast Town Landing is located in Belfast's waterfront district. An excellent extra-wide blacktop boat ramp, a large pier with floats, picnic tables, restroorns and large parking lot make this site user-friendly. A launching fee is charged to use the ramp and, due to boat traffic, shore fishing is not permitted off the dock. If you need assistance or information about the harbor, check in at the Harbor Master's office next to the ramp.
The Searsport Town Landing offers both shore fishing and a boat ramp. The town pier, float, a blacktop ramp, large parking lot, picnic tables and an outhouse can be found here. To locate the landing, look for a shore access sign on the right as you enter Searsport on Route 1 from the south. 
The Searsport Causeway connects Sears Island with the mainland. At this site parking is along a side road and shore fishing for stripers is possible off both sides of the causeway. To get to site, take a right onto Kidder Road when traveling north on Route 1 from Searsport.
Providing access to Stockton Springs Harbor is the Cape Docks Boat Ramp. To get to this site, follow Route 1 north into the town of Stockton Springs; proceed to the center of town and turn right onto Cape Road; follow Cape Road until making a right onto West Cape Road; then turn onto Dock Road and continue to the site. This town maintained facility has a single cement boat ramp that is in good condition. Parking is adequate. This site is mostly used by commercial fishermen and pleasure boat owners whose vessels are moored in the harbor. 
The Penobscot River has a history as one of Maine's most noted Atlantic salmon rivers and still supports several Atlantic salmon fishing clubs near its head-of-tide. Please note that fishing for Atlantic salmon in Maine requires an Atlantic salmon fishing stamp.  In addition, this is a hook and release fishery and only fly fishing gear can legally be used.  This paragraph has been superceded by Atlantic Salmon Commission Regulation which currently prohibits fishing for or taking Atlantic Salmon by any means from all Maine waters.
The Penobscot River is also experiencing growth in its striped bass fishery.  Several boat ramps on the lower reaches of the river provide good access to anglers with this species in mind.
Two boat ramps provide access from the west side of the Penobscot River. The northern-most is Turtle Head Marina Boat Ramp off Route 1A in the town of Hampden. This ramp is in good condition and is serviced by a float. Parking is not a problem and restrooms are available. The second boat ramp is at Grist Mill Park, down river along Route 1A in the town of Frankfort. Available here are a paved boat ramp (not usable at low tide) and a large parking lot. 
Anglers targeting Atlantic salmon may try their luck shore fishing at the Penobscot River's head-of-tide In Eddington. This paragraph has been superceded by Atlantic Salmon Commission Regulation which currently prohibits fishing for or taking Atlantic Salmon by any means from all Maine waters. From Brewer, follow Routes 9 and 178 east; turn left with Route 178 where Route 9 separates; immediately take Monument Drive; follow to the dirt and cobble access road on the left, just before Monument Drive reconnects with Route 178; walk or carefully drive to the shore. 
Located farther down river along the east bank are two more boat ramps. just off Routes 9 and 178 in Brewer is the North Main Street Boat Ramp with a large cement ramp (not usable at low tide) and large parking lot. 
Still farther down river is the South Orrington Boat Ramp (unusable at low tide) which has adequate parking. In the village of South Orrington, turn onto Blake Road from Route 15, cross Settlers Way Road and continue to the site. 
Verona Park boat ramp is at the lower reaches of the Penobscot River on Verona Island. This ramp is in good condition, there is plenty of parking and this site has the added benefit of being a fine shore fishing spot for stripers. To get to the park, take a left off Route I north prior to going over the bridge connecting Verona Island and Bucksport. 
The South Penobscot Boat Ramp provides access to the Bagaduce River. To get to this site, follow Route I north out of Bucksport and connect with Route 175 south; just before entering the village of South Penobscot, look for the boat launch on the right. This town maintained cement ramp is in poor condition, is not usable around low tide and has limited parking. 
Next to the Fire Station in the center of downtown Blue Hill lies the near Blue Hill Town Landing. This boat ramp provides access to Blue Hill Harbor and Blue Hill Bay. To get to the site, take Route 15 south off Route 1, just north of Bucksport. This site has a single cement boat ramp (unusable at low tide) serviced by a float. Parking for the site is adequate.  

Jun 14, 2015

Searsport dredging issue,Summer 2015. Audio from DMR's June 9, 2015 public hearing about the proposed dredge project.

Dredging plans for Searsport Harbor have aroused a great deal of ire at the likelihood of major contaminants' releases into the water column, both -light-blocking silt and an array of heavy metals, chlorinated wastes, hydrocarbon wastes and more   At DMR's June 9th public hearing, no supporters of the project spoke at all.  Are the agencies listening?

More audio to come.....

Searsport dredging issue heats up Summer 2015

Local and regional media coverage of the public hearing Held June 9, 2015 by maine DMR about  the proposed federal dredge

Audio of selected speakers from the 6/9/26 public hearing

Coverage of the meeting
WCSH TV  Searsport Harbor dredging opponents speak at public hearing
Excerpt: "Opponents of the proposal said this dredging will harm the fishing industry. The Friends of Penobscot Bay Group says it will take at least four years for recovery and re-colonization of lobster in the area, and that would cause at much as a $68 million loss for the industry."

Belfast Republican Journal/Waldo Village Soup
Fishermen, environmental activists urge state officials to revisit dredging plans Department of Marine Resources hearing attracts more than 100 people
Fishermen and activists warned officials from the Department of Marine Resources June 9 that a "calamity of turbidity," seven years' bad catch and other hazards await the fishing industry if a major dredging at Mack Point marine terminal goes ahead as planned.

Bangor Daily News
Objections Raised over Searsport Dredging
Excerpt: "During the Maine Department of Marine Resources public hearing on the impact to the fishing industry of the dredging project....[all] who spoke warned of the possible negative effects the dredging and dumping of 900,000 cubic yards of silt and sediment could have on the bay."

Jun 13, 2015

News: Fishermen, environmental activists urge state officials to revisit dredging plans- Republican Journal stlory

Fishermen, environmental activists urge state officials to revisit dredging plans

Department of Marine Resources hearing attracts more than 100 people
Photo by: Ethan AndrewsLobsterman Wayne Canning speaks at a public meeting with Maine Department of Marine Resources officials in Searsport, June 9. Canning was among a number of fishermen who voiced concerns about a major dredging project planned for the winter.
SEARSPORT — Fishermen and activists warned officials from the Department of Marine Resources June 9 that a "calamity of turbidity," seven years' bad catch and other hazards await the fishing industry if a major dredging at Mack Point marine terminal goes ahead as planned.
More than 100 people came to the public meeting at Searsport District High School. Many were dressed in red — the color of boiled lobsters and, on this night, solidarity among local interests opposed to a plan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deepen and widen the navigation channel into the port.
Dredging is scheduled to take place between November 2015 and March 2016.
The purpose, according to the Army Corps, is to accommodate larger cargo ships at Mack Point, which is one of three deep-water ports in the state.
Opponents of the plan, which would entail dredging 900,000 cubic yards of material from the bay floor and dumping it at a site northwest of Islesboro, fear the dredging will disperse a legacy of toxic materials left over from decades of heavy industry around Penobscot Bay.
Tuesday night, several speakers with marine biology credentials added another concern — that disturbing the dredge area and disposal site could release significant amounts of methane gas.
Joseph Kelley, a professor of marine biology at the University of Maine who has worked extensively on mapping the seafloor of the Gulf of Maine, said the methane would have come from organic matter that grew in marshes 10,000 to 12,000 years ago when the sea level was lower than it is today. That material would have been covered in mud when sea levels rose and undergone a gradual anaerobic decomposition, creating methane gas in the process, he said.
Kelley said the "pockmarks" at the disposal site, which appear as craters on maps of the seafloor, looked too steep to exist in an active sedimentary environment.
This opinion was echoed by David Laing, a retired geologist who attributed the shape to methane and water compounds called clathrates.
"In other words, something's coming out of those pits on a fairly regular basis to maintain that topographic form," he said. Laing said clathrates hold their form but could break down and release methane if disturbed by disposal dredge spoils.
This combined with the unknown effects of currents on the disposed sediment could lead to what Kim Ervin Tucker, an attorney for several fishermen's associations and environmental and small business advocacy groups, would later call a "calamity of turbidity" that could devastate fishing in the area.
That prospect was too risky for some fishermen who have made their living selling healthy crustaceans and shellfish.
David Black, a Belfast lobsterman, said lobster landings have doubled in the past four years, largely as a result of careful management of the fishery by lobstermen themselves. The dredging project threatens to undo that work, he said.
Matt Samuels, who works out of Rockport, said landings fell off for two to three years in the area where he fishes after dredging spoils from Belfast Harbor were dumped nearby.
Fishermen and environmental watchdogs have generally supported "maintenance dredging," which would remove drifts and return the channel to its most recent dredged depth.
On Tuesday, there was talk about a third idea proposed in a report by Dawson & Associates. Islesboro Islands Trust commissioned the study from the Washington, D.C.-based firm, which specializes in regulatory and environmental issues relating to federal waters.
The so-called "Dawson alternative" would entail dredging around the piers at the cargo terminal to the depth proposed by the Army Corps and limiting the dredging in the navigation channel to basic maintenance. The material would be brought upland instead of being dumped elsewhere in the bay.
According to the report, this combination would fulfill most of the goals of the original proposal with much less dredging, and as a result, fewer environmental risks.
"I think we'd all get along quite well that way," said Wayne Canning, a longtime Penobscot Bay lobsterman.
Canning said if the larger dredging project went wrong and the catch was depleted or contaminated, local fishermen could be out of work for years.
"This whole thing is high risk for a guy on my end," he said.
Julie Eaton, a lobsterman from Deer Isle, echoed concerns that the dredging could wipe out some of the best lobster fishing in the state and challenged the assertion by dredging supporters that large boats can't navigate the channel at low tide today. Eaton said she has traps in a shoal area that can't be reached by boat at low tide and has done just fine.
"I organize my day so I get there at high tide," she said, drawing a round of laughter from the crowd. "And I'm just a little fisherman. The captains of these big tankers should be able to do the same thing."
Steven Tanguay, co-owner of Searsport Shores campground, talked about town efforts to restore the clam flats in Long Cove after decades of pre-Clean Water Act pollution, a jet fuel spill in the '70s and construction of the Sears Island Causeway, which environmental advocates blame for disrupting aspects of the marine ecosystem. The recovery has been slow, he said, but last year the town sold 100 recreational clamming permits.
Tony Kulik of Belfast said he was told "off the record" that the dredging was "a done deal" among other government agencies, leaving DMR as the last hope for opponents.
"Somebody in government has got to stand up for the fishermen," he said.
Comments from Tuesday night's meeting will be considered in a recommendation by the DMR commissioner to the Department of Environmental Protection.
Denis Nault, a biologist and environmental review coordinator with DMR who listened to testimony on Tuesday, said the agency would compare this project with others to the extent possible — a dredging in Portland, for example, had removed a similar amount of material but was different in that it was offshore — and consider any relevant scientific studies.
"I understand people have a feeling for these things," he said. "But I have to look at science and data."

Jun 10, 2015

Maine new oil train railroad rules. MDEP says, here they are!

Chapter 696: Oil Discharge And Pollution Control Rules For Rail Tank Cars

Concise Summary:
The Department is proposing a new rule establishing minimum inspection, preparedness, and reporting requirements for operators of rail tank cars transporting or storing oil in Maine. The rule establishes requirements for the remediation of any oil discharges from rail tank cars, requires the submission of federal Response Plans to the Department, and establishes inspection requirements for rail cars that are used for storage, and parked at a siding for more than 5 consecutive days.
Agency contact:
Jeff Crawford
17 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333
Public hearing: N