Stories about Maine Department of Environmental Protection

An Amtrak Downeaster train idles near the proposed location of the train layover facility between Church Road and Stanwood Street in Brunswick. The Brunswick West Neighborhood Association has opposed the location since 2011.

Maine’s DEP chief demands answers on plan to build Amtrak facility in Brunswick

By Beth Brogan on Aug. 27, 2014, at 7:34 p.m.
Plans to build a layover facility in Brunswick for Amtrak passenger trains suffered another setback Wednesday as Patricia Aho, commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, fired off a six-page letter that asked the project’s backers to answer almost two dozen questions. Aho’s letter comes two …
Rep. Kenneth Fredette, R-Newport, left, speaks about reducing new odor limits set by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Upset residents Linda Seavey and Paula LeBlanc, who runs PJ's Childcare, sit beside him.

Plymouth residents want tougher odor limits placed on sludge processing plant

By Nok-Noi Ricker on July 25, 2014, at 6:11 p.m.
NEWPORT, Maine — People who live near Soil Preparation Inc., a controversial sludge processing plant in Plymouth, are upset with new draft odor limits set by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection that are six times higher than initially proposed. “Originally, it was 25 parts per million, but the limits …
Firefighters work in a field that was hit by the Carlton Complex Fire, near Brewster, Washington July 20, 2014.

Smoke from western fires on its way to Maine

By Julia Bayly on July 21, 2014, at 6:02 p.m.
FORT KENT | Smoke from wildfires in the western United States created hazy conditions and dramatic sunsets in northern Maine this past weekend and more may be on the way. The air cleared on Monday, but state and national forecasters predict the smoke will drift back over Maine again …
Pictured is one of the piles of fiber material stored on 70 acres in Warren at a former rifle range.

Cleanup of 15-year-old Warren waste pile hits another delay

By Stephen Betts on July 19, 2014, at 9:21 a.m.
Lack of appropriate electrical power is once again delaying the cleanup of 27,000 tons of fiber materials that have plagued the town for 15 years. Last October, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection announced it awarded a contract to Triumvirate Environmental Inc. of Somerville, Massachusetts. The contract …
Unused oil tanks were being removed from a site on Main Road in Hampden on Tuesday.

Workers dismantling former oil terminal along Penobscot River in Hampden

By Dawn Gagnon on July 17, 2014, at 2:52 p.m.
Work is underway to remove the huge, rusty oil tanks that have stood along the Penobscot River, just over the Bangor line in Hampden, for more than half a century. Demolition began earlier this week and is expected to be completed no later than Aug. 1, Gulf …
Galen Young voices his concerns about building a landfill and recycling facility in Argyle Township or Greenbush.

Plan to build landfill in Argyle or Greenbush draws fire at Maine DEP public meeting

By Dawn Gagnon on July 02, 2014, at 9:46 p.m.
OLD TOWN | Nearly two hours into a two-part public information meeting Tuesday afternoon and evening, officials from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection had yet to hear much in the way of support for a controversial plan to build a landfill and recycling facility in Argyle Township or …
Bob Ramsdell, chairman of the Searsport Shellfish Management Committee, looks for clams in an area that a federal agency looked into after claims that there is significant pollution in the area adjacent to the GAC Chemical Corp. plant.

Shoreline showdown? Environmental activists demand action at Kidder Point

By Abigail Curtis on July 02, 2014, at 3:57 p.m.
SEARSPORT | On a hot, muggy morning in early July, Bob Ramsdell took a small hand rake and dug into the sandbar near the Sears Island Causeway, searching until he triumphantly pulled out a plump steamer clam. Ramsdell, the enthusiastic chairman of the Searsport Shellfish Management Committee and a …
About 80 residents attended East Millinocket's annual town meeting on June 3, 2014.

East Millinocket official hopes GNP auction in neighboring town may spur mill restart, property-tax payment

By Nick Sambides Jr. on June 20, 2014, at 7:08 p.m.
A town leader expressed hope Friday that the auction at Great Northern Paper Co. LLC will pay the company’s tax debt to Millinocket and would help restart GNP’s local paper mill. “I think it will tie up some of the loose ends in Millinocket. I am …
Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew

Power grab by DHHS oversteps the law, basic integrity

on June 14, 2014, at 7:30 a.m.
If you don’t get your way by following the legal channels, try the illegal channels. That’s the message the Maine Department of Health and Human Services is sending with what is supposedly a new rule to prevent state dollars from funding general assistance for undocumented immigrants. The department says it …
Turbines on Heifer Hill that are part of the Bull Hill Wind Project put up by First Wind in Township 16.

First Wind tries again to gain Maine regulators’ approval for wind farm partnership with Emera

By Darren Fishell on May 19, 2014, at 5:44 p.m.
HALLOWELL | Boston-based First Wind is pushing Maine utilities regulators to approve for a second time its multimillion-dollar partnership with Nova Scotia-based power company Emera, in a case that was sent back to the Maine Public Utilities Commission by a court order. Opponents of the joint venture have argued …

Maine agency drops plan requiring disclosure of formaldehyde in children’s products

By Jackie Farwell on May 06, 2014, at 3:47 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Manufacturers can continue selling children’s products in Maine without disclosing which items contain the cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde under a new Maine Department of Environmental Protection decision. The department formally withdrew a proposed rule that would have named formaldehyde a priority chemical under the Kid-Safe Products Act, a …
Rockland Mayor Larry Pritchett

State insists on fining Rockland $51,000 after more than 100 wastewater violations

By Stephen Betts on May 02, 2014, at 5:19 p.m.
The city must pay more than $51,000 in penalties, undertake an inspection of all its sewer lines, and submit a plan to correct wastewater treatment deficiencies or face legal action, according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP sent a letter to the city last …
Governor Paul LePage speaks to a packed auditorium at John Bapst High School about domestic violence on Friday.

Environmental groups criticize LePage’s decision to opt out of anti-smog petition

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 09, 2013, at 6:05 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Environmental groups attacked Gov. Paul LePage on Monday for his refusal to sign a petition in favor of tough standards in nine states from which pollution affects air quality in Maine and other eastern states. Governors in eight northeastern and mid-Atlantic states — including every New England …
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection said there are now unapproved "permanent structures" on the Bangor waterfront.

DEP: Bangor didn’t get needed approvals for Waterfront Concerts venue

By Nick McCrea on Nov. 04, 2013, at 6:37 p.m.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection says it did not approve a series of recent upgrades along the Bangor Waterfront, meaning the city could have to retroactively request the required approvals or make significant changes to the site at the end of each concert season. Under DEP …
Brookfield Asset Management CEO Bruce Flatt listens to other speakers during the annual general meeting for shareholders in Toronto last year.

Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners to acquire 9 Maine dams

By Whit Richardson on Nov. 04, 2013, at 2:32 p.m.
Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners on Friday said it will acquire nine hydroelectric dams in Maine, bringing the total number of dams it operates in the state to 38. The company, which is managed by Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, the majority owner, is acquiring the nine dams from Black Bear Hydro …
Passadumkeag Mountain with Saponac Pond in the foreground.

Board grants final approval to Passadumkeag Mountain wind project

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Aug. 01, 2013, at 6:45 p.m.
A 14-turbine wind project proposed for Passadumkeag Mountain won final approval Thursday when the Board of Environmental Protection ratified its earlier decision overturning a state rejection of the project, officials said. The board’s 5-0 approval during its meeting Thursday came after a delay Chairman Robert Foley sought in response to …
Kate (from left) and Elizabeth, children of Megan Rice of Belgrade, listen as their mother talks to the media about how she attempted to raise her girls in a BPA-free environment and the challenges of doing so.

Belgrade mother, Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine protest LePage’s BPA veto

By Nok-Noi Ricker on July 31, 2013, at 7:02 p.m.
BANGOR | Belgrade mother Megan Rice said she was very upset when she found out that the baby food she was feeding her two infant daughters came in packaging that contained bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA. “I was irate,” she said after a Wednesday press conference held downtown …
Gov. Paul LePage

Opponents rip LePage plan to diminish Maine’s role in anti-smog efforts

By Christopher Cousins on July 30, 2013, at 5:47 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Opposition is mounting to Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to limit Maine’s role in a 13-state initiative designed to curb the production of smog under the federal Clean Air Act. Numerous environmental groups and legislative Democrats weighed in against the proposal on Tuesday, with lawmakers calling it …
First Wind, which operates five wind farms in Maine, has proposed building what would be the largest wind farm in New England north of Skowhegan. In this photo from February 2013, turbines at First Wind's most recent wind farm project in Maine, Bull Hill Wind in Hancock County, are seen on Heifer Hill in Township 16.

62-turbine wind farm, largest in New England, proposed for Maine

By Whit Richardson on May 29, 2013, at 9 p.m.
BINGHAM | First Wind, the Boston-based company that operates five wind farms in Maine, has submitted an application to build a wind farm north of Skowhegan. If approved, it would be New England’s largest. First Wind on May 10 submitted an application to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection …

Illegal Bangor pool dumping incident spurs reminder about safe water disposal

By Nok-Noi Ricker on May 12, 2013, at 7:50 p.m.
Workers who violated a city ordinance by discharging old water from an inground swimming pool on Falvey Street directly into a nearby catch basin that empties into a nearby brook has led the city to issue a reminder about safely draining swimming pools. The pool water contained …