Sunday, October 13, 2013

Maine DEP dam relicensing in disarray

Since former industry lobbyist Patricia Aho took over the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine has missed critical deadlines related to the once-in-a-quarter-century federal re-licensing of three separate dam projects.  By dropping the ball -- and, thus, removing Maine from the court of play -- Aho's DEP allowed the owners of the Flagstaff, West Branch, and Forest City dam projects to make easy layups, avoiding possible concessions on water levels, recreation, fish habitat protection and other issues. Maine has never before missed such a deadline.

In today's Maine Sunday Telegram, I report on the results of a public records request we submitted in an effort to figure out what's been going on. Amazingly, the DEP came within hours of missing a fourth deadline -- for the Brassua dam in western Maine -- which would have been a boon to Florida Power and Light, which was closing the sale of it and the Flagstaff dam to another company. Emails and other documents show the department relicensing effort in disarray.

The department's failure at Flagstaff featured prominently in my five-part, three-day series on the Aho's DEP.

DEP officials have been unavailable for comment on this issue since Oct. 9, a day after I reviewed the public records request. We'll try again Tuesday.

No comments:

Post a Comment