Jul 17, 2015

Maine BEP won't take jurisdiction over Searsport megadredge plan. AUDIO Board uncertain whether Searsport & Belfast are separate towns(?)

On July 16th the Maine Board of Environmental Protection voted NOT to assume jurisdiction over the controversial Searsport Harbor "channel widening"  dredge project.
Listen below to recordings of each speaker and  each board discussion that took place at the meeting.

* BEP Chair James Parker opens the  meeting  1min 43 sec

Patricia Aho introduction 3min

* Commissioner's report_Pat Aho  5min

Chairman begins dredging  application part of meeting 2min 6sec

* MDEP Mark Bergeron &  Commissioner Patricia Aho. 4min 32 sec

* MDEP Commissioner Aho's anti jurisdiction rationale 11min 45 sec

Chairman introduces public comment section. 47 seconds

* Steve Hinchman, attorney for Islesboro Island Trust 21min 52sec

* Kim Ervin Tucker, attorney  for Maine Lobstering Union 31min 46 sec

Arch Gillies  Islesboro, Armindy McFadden, Whales Tooth Pub, aquaculturist 17min 20sec

*  Ron Huber Friends of Penobscot Bay, David Black lobsterman, Wayne Canning lobsterman 19min 43 sec

Christopher Hyk,  Elaine Tucker, Belfast, Harlan McLaughlin, Searsport and Barbara Moore, Indian Island 9min15sec.

* Army Corps of Engineer staffer Mark Hable 6min23sec

* Maine BEP & Staff debate  then vote not to assume jurisdiction  41 minutes

Notes: The refusal was made despite voluminous requests they do so from a wide spectrum of  Penobscot Bay user groups area residents and partisans.

The people and their attorneys  explained in detail how the project to dig up nearly a million pounds of centuries-old sediment from the edges of Searsport Harbor, then dump it into waters and onto the bayfloor area shared by Northport and Islesboro,  would shut down lobster fisheries in those waters for three years or more, would kill generations of lobsters at the sites and  wreak havoc with Maine's lobster "brand"  in regional national and global markets  - already beset by the  permanent lobstering closure of lower Penobscot River for chronic mercury contamination.

But it was for naught.

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