August 15, 2019 - Maine DEP to test marine spill response on Penobscot River

AUGUSTA, August 9, 2019 - Emergency Response personnel from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will conduct a boom deployment exercise on the Penobscot River on Thursday, August 15, 2019 in Brewer.

The training exercise will take place at the public boat launch located on North Main Street in Brewer beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday and continuing until 3PM in the afternoon. The purpose of this exercise is to test the feasibility of emergency response strategies in the event of a marine oil spill in the river.

Maine has a total of 249 protection strategies designed for environmentally sensitive areas from Kittery to Calais, and the DEP has an active program to review and test these strategies to ensure natural resources are most effectively protected.

The North Main Street boat launch will be closed to the public for safety reasons and members of the public should seek an alternative site for boat launching and other recreational activities through the duration of this training exercise.

August 15, 2019 - Maine DEP offers wastewater sludge dewatering grants

AUGUSTA, August 15, 2019 - The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has made grant funding available for wastewater infrastructure planning and construction related to new sludge dewatering projects. The presence of PFAS in sludge, particularly for those facilities that do not have dewatering infrastructure, has posed potential management challenges for certain communities.

The grant funding is limited to municipal and quasi-municipal wastewater treatment facilities that do not currently have onsite sludge dewatering infrastructure. This grant may be used to contract with a Professional Engineer to evaluate sludge dewatering options and develop a preliminary engineering report with the recommended alternative. The grant may also be used for one-time contract dewatering services for stored sludge.

DEP has notified potential recipients of the availability of grant funding for new sludge dewatering projects. For more information on this grant please visit Maine DEP's website:

July 30, 2019 - Fish Passage Restoration in the Penobscot

AUGUSTA, July 30, 2019 - State and federal environmental officials today proposed to use an $800,000 natural resource damage settlement to fund four restoration projects benefiting fish, wildlife and communities in Hampden, Charleston, Sedgwick and Brooksville. The projects are outlined in a draft restoration plan for the Chevron Oil Terminal Facility in Hampden that is available for public comment through Friday, August 30, 2019.

The settlement was secured by the federal and state government from parties responsible for multiple releases of oil at the former Chevron and Texaco marine oil terminal facilities on the Penobscot River in Hampden. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection; Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry; Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife; Maine Department of Marine Resources; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (collectively, the natural resource trustees for the site) are responsible for selecting natural resource restoration projects that would restore, replace or acquire the equivalent of the natural resources that were injured.

In late 2017, the trustees requested ideas from the public for restoration projects within the Penobscot River watershed. Four project ideas were submitted by Atlantic Salmon Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Lane Construction. The trustees propose to partially fund all four, given that other funds to support these projects are also available.

The proposed projects are located in Kenduskeag Stream (Charleston), Sucker Brook (Hampden) and the Bagaduce River (Sedgwick and Brooksville). Overall, seven undersized and/or perched road culverts will be replaced, and two fishways will be installed. Combined, these projects will open up more than 17.5 miles of river and stream habitat to benefit migratory fish (American eel, alewife, blueback herring, rainbow smelt and Atlantic salmon), invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

These projects will complement fish passage efforts by federal and state agencies in the Penobscot watershed, including the removal of the Great Works & Veazie dams on the mainstem, and the installation of a byway for fish and other aquatic wildlife at the Howland Dam. A 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study found that every mile of river opened so that fish can move freely can contribute more than $500,000 in social and economic benefits once fish populations are at their full productivity

To download a copy of the plan, please visit: . Public comments will be accepted until 5:00 pm on Friday, August 30, 2019. Following the public comment period, the trustees will review input, update the restoration plan as needed, and release the final plan.

July 30, 2019 - Maine DEP Issues Air Quality Alert for Tuesday, July 30, 2019

AUGUSTA, July 29, 2019 - Ground-level ozone concentrations will be climbing in Maine on Tuesday and are expected to reach unhealthy levels according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The Southwest Coastal region and the High Elevations of Acadia National Park are the regions forecast to reach the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range on the Air Quality Index. At elevated ozone levels, children, healthy adults who exert themselves, and individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, bronchitis or COPD can experience reduced lung function and irritation. When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest.

Some actions you can take to protect your health during periods of unhealthy air quality include:

- Adjusting your schedule to avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the afternoon. - The Maine CDC Asthma Prevention and Control Program has asthma information available at their web site: - For more information on asthma control visit EPA's Web site to find information about asthma triggers and lessons on asthma management. In addition to those in a sensitive group, sports coaches, elder care workers, nurses and others who are responsible for the welfare of people impacted by poor air quality are urged to use one of the listed tools to follow the Air Quality Forecast: - Air Quality Forecast page: which has links to: - EnviroFlash, EPA's email and text alert system, - Twitter, for sign up information go to: - EPAs mobile app is available at: - DEP's toll-free air quality hotline is 1-800-223-1196

For more information call the contacts listed above or go to DEPs air quality web site

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Local News 8/15/2019

Maine DEP to test marine spill response on Penobscot River

AUGUSTA, August 9, 2019 - Emergency Response personnel from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will conduct a boom deployment exercise on the Penobscot River on Thursday, August 15, 2019 in Brewer.The training exercise will take place a...

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