Challenge issued to Oxford casino’s permits

Posted April 20, 2011, at 4:15 p.m.
Last modified April 20, 2011, at 5:42 p.m.

OXFORD, Maine — An environmental group and some residents of the western Maine town of Oxford are appealing the decision of the Department of Environmental Protection commissioner to issue permits for Maine’s first casino with slot machines and table games.

The Androscoggin River Alliance and 18 year-round and seasonal residents filed the appeal Wednesday with the Board of Environmental Protection.

Attorney Steve Hinchman says Black Bear Entertainment hasn’t shown it has adequate finances to complete the project or that the casino would have adequate water supplies and sewage capabilities. He said the casino and resort, which is slated to open in 2012, threatens nearby ponds, groundwater supplies and the Little Androscoggin River.

Black Bear partner Rob Lally said he’s confident the permits are adequate and that every issue will be addressed without question.