Jun 29, 2016

Maine DMR presentation & QA on new mercury lobster closure 6/28/16. AUDIO

On June 28, 2016, Maine DMR held a meeting in Bucksport about the state's
new permanent closure of the lobster fishery of the mouth of Penobscot River and the SW tip of  Penobscot Bay. Attendees including lobstermen and environmentalists. Listen to meeting audio  Read details below the audio links.


Presenters DMR deputy commissioner Meredith Mendelson and Carl Wilson director of DMR's Marine Science Bureau, gave presentations. 

They then took questions, along with state toxicologist Andy Smith .  

(DMR's FAQ on the new mercury closure)  

Wayne Canning (standing)
Zone D fisherman Wayne Canning of Belfast, eco-attorney Kim Ervin Tucker of Islesboro, Ron Huber of  Friends of Penobscot Bay and  others peppered the officials with questions.

Attorney Tucker challenged the state's methodology in arriving at locations of higher or lower levels of mercury contamination in the sediments and lobsters of the lower river and upper bay.

She also presented DMR with copies of  a new DEP permit allowing the Mallinkrodt company (owner of the property that is the chief source  of mercury in the river and bay.

Kim Ervin Tucker
The permit allows the company  to increase its discharge of mercury-tainted water into the river by 40,000 gallons per day.

 This  increases  the discharge from  the existing 60K gallons per day  to 100K gallons per day)

MORE TO COME(check back later)

Jun 16, 2016

Rockland FOAA update, City Mgr Jim Chaousis re moratorium and consultants. 50 pages

Below are fifty pages of FOAA'd documents from Rockland city manager Jim Chaousis, requested by Mike Grondin. Uploaded to the web  6/16/16  They are broken into 10 page pdf files for ease of reading:
FOAA Chaousis 6/14/16. Pages 1-10  Rockland Energy Comm 1/14/16 mtg mins; copy of moratorium 12/14/15
FOAA Chaousis 6/14/16. Pages 11-20 Rockland Energy Comm 1/25/16 mtg mins; copy 1/14/16 mins; copy moratorium
FOAA Chaousis 6/14/16. Pages 21-29  Rockland Energy Comm 1/25/16 mtg mins; draft contract with SMRT
FOAA Chaousis 6/14/16. Pages 30-40 Rockland Energy Comm  2/24/16; mtg mins draft contract Woodard Curran, terms,conditions
FOAA Chaousis 6/14/16. Pages 41-50 Woodward and Curran terms and conditions Part 2

Jun 10, 2016

Maine offshore wind funding: French naval contractor getting a big piece of the pie?

Perched at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, Monhegan Island will soon find itself hosting DCNS, a France-based naval military contractor with no experience with offshore windpower. DCNS has become a partner in Maine Aqua Ventus, the University of Maine-led consortium working to develop and deploy two fullsize prototype floating wind turbines off in state waters off Monhegan.

With contractors like DCNS, $40 million won't be going very far. What's DCNS' bite of the Maine Aqua Ventus funding pie? Why them and not BIW or another Maine company?

DCNS cites "Our knowledge of complex systems and maritime technologies, as well as our expertise in managing complex programs..." as reason for hiring out-of-country.

Those skills are not to be found here in the Dawn State? DCNS is simply a big naval contractor that, having snapped up some tidal power businesses, now proposes to expand into ocean windpower, of which they, by their own admission have zero experience.
Milking the cash cow. How much do the various individuals within the ivory tower & the consultancies feeding off this grant expect to earn? Not to mention expense accounts and junketing around our windy world, as consumed much of DOE's seed grant that ended up with Dagher's Folly, a dwarf prototype too small and frail to be tested at Maine's ocean wind test center! Don't think it can't happen again. Leadership of the consortium whose prototype failed the DOE competition hasn't changed. Maine is back in only because of the inability of the winner states to follow through. Do we really expect different results from the same crew that mismanaged its federal seed money? Isn't that the definition of.......naive? Worse: Statoil's shortlived wind effort here was a model of transparency compared to the DeepCwind team's consistent opacity. It took litigation to free up information about their offshore wind test center selection process. Top windie Habib Dagher absolutely refuses to debate with critics of "his" project or even appear on a wind energy panel if an "unbeliever" is allowed too.
In short Maine's ocean wind power consortium, under whichever name: DeepCwind or Maine Aquaventus has always been more like a private Game of Thrones: a great wasteful scramble for personal advantage, with the smallfolk not welcome.

Maine can do better than that

Jun 7, 2016

Ocean Planning meeting 6/1\6/16 Rockland Library - Audio

Listen to an audio recording of the 6/6/16 Ocean Planning meeting at the Rockland, Maine library. Stacie Smith of the Consensus Building Institute emceed. The ocean plan is a result of Executive Order 13547 

1. Intro by Stacie Smith 3 min  

2.Richard Nelson,47sec 

3. Ocean plan review by Betsy Nicholson Part 1. 25 min  
Stacie Smith

4.Ocean plan/portal review,Nicholson Pt2  24min

5. Q&A session 33min  

6. Public comments on draft plan Part 1 38min  

7. Public comments on draft plan Pt 2. 24min  

Chief Presenter was Betsy Nicholson of NOAA's Regional Coastal Program. Nicholson is federal co-lead of the Northeast Regional Planning Body. 

Ron Huber & Betsy Nicholson
She and other officials then fielded questions from the audience. These included representatives of NGOs Friends of Penobscot Bay and Island Institute.

Other attendees included Friendship Maine lobsterman Richard Nelson, Patty Aho for Senator Susan Collins. and many member of the public.