Letter to the editor

CMBG and its violations

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 8:45am

Dear Editor:

For three years now, CMBG has made misleading public comments about the problems with their oversized, multi-million dollar expansion. CMBG refuses to admit their mistakes, and they continue to assume that people in Boothbay – and across the state – won’t do the homework to correct the record.

The latest misrepresentation comes from CEO Bill Cullina, who claimed in media interviews that the recent $18,629 fine from the Maine DEP for construction violations was for “nothing that was destructive environmentally,” when in fact the DEP enforcement letter says that CMBG violated the Natural Resources Protection Act by destroying critical terrestrial habitat for a significant vernal pool. This is symptomatic of the larger environmental destruction at CMBG – all 24.8 acres clear-cut for CMBG’s parking lots and visitor center were habitat for multiple vernal pools – but we probably won’t hear much about that from CMBG.

What we are hearing is the spin from CMBG on their “support” for the fish passage restoration project on the Sheepscot River. Spokesperson Kris Folsom told the Boothbay Register that CMBG is “pleased the agreement gives us the opportunity to help support the Atlantic Salmon Federation and their Head Tide Dam project in Alna.”

But comments like this violate their consent agreement with DEP, who made a point in their enforcement letter of prohibiting CMBG from advertising their fine as if it were a donation. Specifically, DEP requires CMBG – if it makes “any public statement, oral or written, in print, film or other media” – to confess that the funding of the Head Tide Dam project “was undertaken in connection with the settlement of an enforcement action taken by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for Natural Resources Protection Act and Site Location of Development Act violations.”

So let’s all do our homework to keep CMBG honest about their poor environmental record and its consequences.

And keep in mind that we’re still waiting to hear from DEP about CMBG’s other 2017 violations, when their construction site sent plumes of phosphorus-laden silt into vernal pools and a stream which runs directly into the Boothbay peninsula’s water supply.

Jason Anthony