According to a July 2 news release from the Islesboro Islands Trust, Maine legislators Rep. Chuck Kruger, Rep. Jeff Evangelos, Rep. Mick Devin, Rep. Joan Welsh, Rep. Walter Kumiega, Rep. Adam Goode, Sen. Dave Miramant, Rep. Ralph Chapman, Sen. Chris Johnson, Rep. Jim Davitt, Rep. Pinny Beebe-Center, Rep. Christine Burstein and Rep. Erin Herbig will announce their formal request to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Board of Environmental Protection and Department of Marine Resources that these agencies require the Army Corps of Engineers (ACoE) and Maine Department of Transportation to conduct a full and comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Searsport Harbor expansion dredging, at the Belfast Boat House on the Belfast waterfront Tuesday morning, July 7, at 11 a.m.

The proposed disposal site for the nearly 1 million cubic yards of dredge sediment is located in upper Penobscot Bay just offshore from the city-owned Belfast Boat House between the mouth of Belfast Harbor and Islesboro.

The legislators are not concerned about routine maintenance dredging for Mack Point.

The letter to state agencies from the 13 Penobscot Bay legislators, as quoted by the news release, says, in part:

"We, the undersigned duly elected Maine State Legislators, request that the Department of Environmental Protection, through the Board or the Commissioner or both, require the Army Corps of Engineers and the Maine Department of Transportation to undertake a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement before taking further action on the above referenced application."

According to the news release, the letter further notes that:

"There exists controversy and deep concern about the impact the proposal would have on the region’s lobster industry. Both the dredge area and the proposed disposal site, according to University of Maine scientists, are geologically unstable and … The one million cubic yards of sediment would smother valuable lobster habitat, rendering that area uninhabitable by numerous marine species, including lobsters, and therefore unproductive, for years … An alternative to the proposed dredging exists that is far less environmentally damaging and could realize most of the proposed project’s purposes."

Many of these same legislators requested that the ACoE undertake a full EIS or Supplemental Environmental Assessment in November of 2013. To date, ACoE has ignored that request.

The news release goes on to say Arch Gillies, chair of the Islesboro Board of Selectmen, will describe his town’s apprehension over the massive, expanded dredging proposal, not the minor maintenance dredging needed to keep Mack Point operational and competitive.