WERU News Report 2/19/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Segment 1: It was announced yesterday that the Maine Department of Marine Resources is closing an area near the mouth of the Penobscot River to lobster fishing, for at least 2 years, due to mercury contamination. But nearby there are plans underway to dredge up highly contaminated sediment near Mack Point to expand the depth of the channel there from 35 to 40 feet. Testing done as part of the permitting process has revealed a long list of carcinogens and endocrine disrupters in the sediment. And plans to dump the roughly 1 million cubic yards of that toxic sludge elsewhere in Penobscot Bay have lobstermen’s associations, town councils and state representatives very concerned. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that an informational meeting about the project, to be held Monday, is slated to be held in Bangor, in the evening, rather than in one of the coastal communities at a time when the island ferries are running.
We spoke earlier today with Kim Tucker, an attorney working with the Zone D Lobster Council and the Sierra Club, and with Ron Huber, Executive Director of Friends of Penobscot Bay. Some photos of the site: penbay.net/dredgesite.jpg and penbay.net/dredgemap.jpg

Segment 2: Dennis Marble, Executive Director of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, weighs in on how Gov. LePage’s veto of Mainecare expansion is impacting homelessness. Recorded by Matt Murphy