RadioActive 3/26/15

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: Orono Council Committee Votes to Withdraw from Penobscot Nation v Mills

Key Discussion Points:

a) On March 16th, the Orono Town Council’s Community Development Committee, which contains all members of the council, voted unanimously to instruct the town manager to draw up an order to formally withdraw Orono from Penobscot Nation v Mills. This case concerns the
Penobscot Nation’s jurisdiction to monitor their sustenance fishing waters, a status without issue until August 8th, 2012, when then Attorney General Schneider wrote a letter to the Penobscot Nation declaring that “the State of Maine has exclusive regulatory jurisdiction over activities taking place on the River.” The Penobscot Nation is now suing the state in Federal Curt

b) The state of Maine’s attorney, Matt Manahan from law firm Pierce Atwood, joined a consortium of 18 towns and corporations to the case, as intervenors for the state. These 18 are waste water dischargers on the river, though the case is not about pollution discharges, and many of these entities would not be effected if it were.

c) A movement opposing Orono’s involvement developed when town residents were surprised to discover Orono’s involvement. Inquires showed none of Orono’s town councilors knew of the town’s involvement either.

Today we listen to both councilors and the public at the Orono Town Council’s public meeting on March 16th.

We also hear reactions from Orono organizer and resident Cheryl Robertson.

*Note: On April 1st Orono formerly files to withdraw from Penobscot Nation v Mills.


A) Orono Town Council members (Mark Haggerty,Geoffrey Gordon, Tom Perry, Tom Sptiz, Sam Kunz) and Orono Town Manager Sophie Wilson

B) public testimony : Claudia Lawd, Eric Maynard,Maria Girouard, Kathy Pollard, Nancy Prisk, John Banks

C) Rep. Ryan Tipping-Spitz

D)Cheryl Roberston, Orono resident

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