Army Corps Withdraws Dredging Project Application

Sep 9, 2015

SEARSPORT, Maine — The Army Corps of Engineers has withdrawn its application for a Penobscot Bay dredging project amid opposition from lobstermen, environmentalists and business owners.

The Portland Press Herald reports Corps project manager Barbara Blumeris sent a letter to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday saying that the federal agency was withdrawing its application for requisite state permits.

The project aims to upgrade the port by expanding its turning basin and deepening the approach channel.

But the Corps' plan to dispose of dredge material in the middle of western Penobscot Bay raised concerns that it would cause mercury contamination.

John Henshaw, director of the Maine Port Authority, says the department is still committed to the project, but needs more time to prepare for the public hearing process.