The Maine Department of Transportation
(MDOT), in partnership with a Swedish-owned company, Sprague Energy,
plans to dump 375,000 cubic yards of dredge spoils, at least 14
percent of it contaminated, into the middle of some of the state's
most productive lobster grounds. MDOT and Sprague hope to deposit
the dredge spoils, from the Mack Point Redevelopment Project, onto
a federally managed open ocean disposal site between Rockland and
"If it's a State mission to have this port, we want
it handled responsibly."
But the proposal has met with strong opposition
from many fishermen and community leaders around western Penobscot
"I'm not a scientist, but I'm intelligent
enough to know this is not a good idea," said Sue Lessard,
town manager of Vinalhaven.
to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, almost half of the
dredge material has been deemed unsuitable for open ocean
uncontained disposal. "Contaminates in the dredge material
include elevated levels of lead and mercury, polyaromatic
hydrocarbons (petroleum dirivatives), and some PCBs,"
said Jay Clement, senior project manager at the
Corps of Engineer's Maine project office.
material has not been tested for dioxin," said Clement.
Clement added that the Corps would run tests for dioxin
if requested to by other agencies, such as Maine's Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP), "provided tests
were deemed necessary in order to make an informed decision,"
Mack Point represents the third
and final leg of Governor Angus King's goal to establish
three ports in Maine.