WERU News Report 3/18/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

The Maine Department of Marine Resources held a public hearing in Bucksport last night, as part of their process of the closure of the lobster and crab fisheries near the mouth of the Penobscot River due to elevated mercury levels. The department became aware of the elevated levels after they were given results from independent testing done in association with the Maine People’s Alliance’s decade long legal battle over the clean up of the former Holtrachem site in Orrington. The Department of Marine Fisheries decided to close this specific area rather than issuing an advisory on all Maine lobster.
Last night’s public hearing was facilitated by Kevin Rousseau & Meredith Mendelson of the Dept of Marine Resources, and Dr Andrew Smith, the State Toxicologist with Maine Center for Disease Control. It was required as part of the process of making February’s emergency closure a regular rule, before the emergency rule expires in May. DMR Deputy Commissioner Meredith Mendelson provided some back ground. An informal question and answer session was held, followed by a formal public comment period.

The deadline for comments to the Department of Marine Fisheries regarding the closure of the lobster and crab fisheries near the mouth of the Penobscot River, is Friday, March 28th

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