Home - WERU FM 89.9 Community Radio, Blue Hill, Maine

WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill, Maine Local News and Public Affairs Archives

Audio archives of spoken word broadcasts from Community Radio WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill (weru.org)

Donate to WERU Donate Now

Archives

E-mail Notifications

Get an e-mail when we update our archives (several times a week)
Enter your Email
Powered by FeedBlitz
  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Engineer: John Greenman

    Attorney Kim Ervin Tucker joins us today with all the latest news on the proposed dredging project in Searsport Harbor, including an important deadline coming up next week for anyone who would like to be involved as an intervenor.

    For more information about becoming an intervenor: www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=dep-comment&id=648954&v=govdel

    FMI re the “Dawson Alternative”: islesboroislandstrust.org/dawson-searsport-dredging/

    Special thanks to Ron Huber for allowing us to use audio clips he recorded at the 7/16/15 BEP meeting. To hear more visit his website: penobscotbay.blogspot.com/2015/07/maine-bep-wont-take-jurisdiction-over.html

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Engineer: John Greenman

    The latest chapter in a story we’ve been reporting on for nearly 15 years played out in Federal Court today, as lawyers for both sides in the Penobscot River mercury pollution case (Maine People’s Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council vs. Mallinckrodt Inc.) made their closing arguments. We start today with a press conference held outside the Federal Building held by the Maine People’s Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council—the 2 groups that successfully sued the huge corporation responsible for the major mercury pollution many years ago and are now trying to get them to stop delaying and start cleaning it up. We also have notes from the final arguments, and make the connection with the mercury in the bay and proposed dredging project by re-airing an August 2014 interview with Dr. Kevin Yeager, one of the court-appointed independent scientist who worked on the Holtrachem/Mallinckrodt mercury case and was later hired by parties concerned about the dredging project to take a look at the testing methods used by the Army Corps of Engineers.

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Engineer: John Greenman

    The Maine Department of Marine Resources Public Hearing on the Controversial Searsport Harbor Dredging Project

    The auditorium of Searsport District High school last night was a sea of red shirts, worn by lobstermen and their supporters at a public hearing on the controversial Searsport harbor dredging project. Every person who spoke was opposed to the Army Corps of Engineer’s plan to dredge nearly a million cubic yards of material from the harbor and dump it near Islesboro. The public hearing was held by the Maine Department of Marine Resources who will advise the Department of Environmental Protection about potential impacts on the fisheries. Before the public spoke, the DMR staff explained the limited scope of the meeting and gave a brief overview of the proposal. We hear from them and from members of the public — including lobstermen and scientists — who spoke at the hearing.

    FMI re the “Dawson Alternative”: islesboroislandstrust.org/dawson-searsport-dredging/

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Engineer: John Greenman

    An update on the controversial Searsport Harbor dredging project

    The Department of Marine Resources is holding a public hearing next week (Tuesday 6/9/15, 6pm at Searsport District High School) focused on the fisheries impacts of the proposal to dredge nearly a million cubic yards of possibly contaminated silt from Searsport Harbor and dump it elsewhere in Penobscot Bay.

    Additionally, attorney Kim Tucker (our guest today) has submitted a formal request for the Board of Environmental Protection to take over jurisdiction on the project. She represents the Maine Lobstering Union; the Lincolnville Lobstermen’s Association (including all licensed lobstermen and their sternmen who fish from Lincolnville, Maine); the Pemaquid Mussel Farm (“PMF”), located off Northport on land leased for cultivation of mussels; the Sierra Club of Maine (“Sierra Club”); the citizens and small business owners from the Searsport area known and incorporated as “Thanks But No Tank” (“TBNT”); as well as Armindy McFadden, co-owner and lease holder of the PMF off Northport, and a seaweed cultivation license holder and harvester off Searsport; and Mike Hutchings, western Penobscot Bay lobsterman, Zone D Lobster Council member from District 10 and the Lincolnville Harbor Master.

    The rationale for this Army Corps of Engineers project is that the shipping channel needs to be expanded in order to increase commerce in the area – an assertion that opponents reject.
    The location of the proposed dredging is in close proximity to an area that has been closed to lobstering and shell fishing because of mercury contamination, and testing for a nearby private dredging project found levels of heavy metals and other toxins that were several times about the acceptable limits. While proponents of the project claim that their own testing proves that the materials to be dredged are clean, their methods have been called into question by a scientist specializing in this type of testing who did a thorough review of their work.

    The projected economic impacts of the project have also been called into question. Those who are promoting the project say increasing the depth of the shipping channel is necessary in order to allow larger commercial vessels to enter the port. They say that increased oil tanker traffic will lead to result in lower energy costs and that increased traffic in general will be a boon to the local economy. But many people who make their living on the bay are skeptical about the projected increase in shipping traffic. They have also expressed fears that the project jeopardizes an already booming local fishery and the tourism industry – all for the benefit of large multinational companies. The estimated $13 million dollar tab for the project would be paid by tax payers.

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    The Department of Marine Resources held a public hearing in Searsport last night on a proposal for maintanence dredging at the Sprague Energy docks in that town. As we’ve reported previously, testing that was done last year near the Sprague piers found high levels– many above reporting limits–of a large variety of contaminants and known carcinogens including pesticides, heavy metals, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In addition, Dr. Kevin Yeager, an independent scientist hired by the federal court in the Holtrachem mercury case, has examined the testing that was done in this case, and raised concerns that it was inadequate. The DMR will report any concerns about impacts on the fisheries to the Department of Environmental Resources. Today on the News Report, we bring you to last night’s hearing:

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Rebroadcast of a segment of the WERU Special on the Searsport dredging controversy that originally aired at 10am on 8/25/14

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Studio Engineer: Joel Mann

    The US Army Corps of Engineers and Maine DOT are proposing a dredging project in Searsport Harbor that would result in nearly a million cubic yards of materials being dumped in Penobscot Bay near Islesboro. The project would deepen and widen the shipping channel. Supporters say that would improve commerce in the port, but opponents say the economic and environmental risks far outweigh any potential benefits.

    Joining me in the studio today are Joel Pitcher of the Maine Lobstering Union, and attorney Kim Tucker. She represents the Maine Lobstering Union, Pemaquid Muscle Farm, and the Sierra Club of Maine as well as some individual members of the Zone D lobster council. The program also features excerpts from an interview with Dr. Kevin Yeager- an independent scientist who previously worked on the Holtrachem/Mallinkrodt mercury case in the federal court system. He is the author of a new report that raises serious concerns about the plan– among them the possibility that inert mercury in the sediment may be converted to a more toxic form and make its way into the food chain in Penobscot Bay. He also criticizes the methology the Army Corps used in their sediment sampling.

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Continuing with our on-going coverage of the Searsport dredge and dump controversy, today we hear the impressions of Penobscot bay lobstermen and people who work in the shell fish industry, following a private presentation by state and federal officials, organized by the Maine Lobstermen’s Association

    No Comments