WCGH volunteers 'excellent'

It's impossible to do justice describing the excellent work done by all the volunteers at the Waldo County General Hospital COVID Vaccine Clinic. From the moment we turned the corner to enter the parking lot until the moment we drove away safely vaccinated and monitored, we felt welcome and surrounded by friendly, genuinely committed people.

The organization of the entire process was amazing and praiseworthy. Volunteers guided us from station to station; directions were given clearly and always with a warm smile; and the after vaccination monitors circulated constantly, checking on people, letting people go at the proper time, and cleaning vacated seats and locations constantly.

The volunteers and organized system reinforced our already strong trust of our fellow citizens.

Thank you for all you are doing, Waldo County General Hospital Vaccine Clinic Volunteers.

Laurie Stone

James Stone

Belfast

For the love of water

Water is life.

State Rep. Jan Dodge, D-Belfast, proposed these two pieces of legislation:

LD1474, An Act To Ensure Water Equity and Accountability for the People of the State of Maine;

LD197, An Act To Convene a Working Group To Authorize a Public Trust for Maine's Groundwater and To Impose a 2-year Moratorium on Large-scale Groundwater Extraction

And they failed. Why would Jan Dodge not get support for this legislation? Our water isn’t being stolen, we are giving it away when legislation like what she proposed doesn’t pass.

It was incredibly timely legislation at a moment when Nordic Aquafarms was (and still is) poised to take more than 630,000 gallons of water a year from the citizens of Belfast. And Nestlé is negotiating with a private equity firm, One Rock Capital, to sell its water business for about $4 billion.

This is our water. Where are the citizens of Maine who should be protecting their own best interest? The beautiful state of Maine, thanks to Gov. Janet Mills, is being pillaged by extractive corporations from Nordic to Nestlé to CMP to Wolfden metal mining. All these corporations are out to make billions mining our water, our air, our land, our forests, our spaciousness, right out from under our noses, and the majority of Mainers are allowing them. We are quickly losing our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No matter your political persuasion, this matters.

It’s past time to start protecting Maine’s resources. On Valentine’s Day a group of Belfast citizens left valentines on the door of the Belfast Water District pleading with them not sell our water to Nordic and the BWD called the police … like it was an affront for ordinary people to want to secure their right to water over a multinational corporation. Look up Absolute Dominion, an antiquated law that only Texas, Indiana and Maine still have on their books. Do the citizens of Belfast understand that in a water shortage, Nordic gets the water, not Belfast citizens?

Maine has the beautiful and clean environment that brings people here, but these "resources," water, air, forests and land, are our lifeblood, not just resources. These are the sources from which life springs, for humans and non-humans alike. We need these elements to survive, and the accelerated rate of degradation is daunting to address because we need it all protected now.

People are arriving here in Maine and New England at an unprecedented rate, often land and homes are being purchased site unseen, as people want to escape their own densely populated, polluted, sick and getting sicker communities.

We can live without so much. But we cannot live without water. And we will not survive if we continue to break the interconnected web of life.

Remember, there are no jobs on a dead planet.

Aimee Moffitt-Mercer

Belfast

Endorses Bebb for select board

As a Northport resident for more than 10 years, I am pleased to endorse Breanna Pinkham Bebb for election to our select board. In recent years, I have had the privilege of working with Bre on the Northport Planning Board, as well as in other capacities in Waldo County. Her civic involvement has been and continues to be widespread, including the Waldo County Woodshed and service on numerous boards. Bre not only maintains a full-time job and volunteers in various roles, but is a wife and mom as well. Multitasking is in her blood.

If you know Bre at all, you are aware that when she commits, she is committed all the way. I know for a fact that Bre’s tenacity, enthusiasm and can-do spirit will only enhance the governance of our town. Please join me in electing Breanna Pinkham Bebb to the Northport select board April 14.

Reeves Gilmore

Northport

Nordic power demand could be too much

Adding Nordic Aquafarms' energy demand to the grid will make the Midcoast susceptible to a Texas-like outage. According to Central Maine Power's consultant, the area’s existing grid would immediately fail the power resiliency calculations with Nordic’s demand.

In 2019 the peak demand for the entire Midcoast was 145 megawatts. The current demand of 28 MW that Nordic is proposing would singlehandedly increase the Belfast region’s demand by 60%. How can power be rerouted in times of need if a single user is proposing to draw more than half the local region’s current energy demand from one stressed grid location?

According to a CMP estimate, rebuilding the line with higher-capacity conductors would cost $63.3 million and would only be a temporary solution. This upgrade is insufficient for Nordic’s full demand. The real upgrades needed are not scheduled by CMP for at least five years. None of the costs would be billed directly to Nordic, despite this temporary upgrade being specifically for Nordic.

The Texas outage occurred because of inadequate resiliency. In a resilient grid, if there is a major outage, power can be redirected from areas nearby. In a resilient grid, outages are short-lived and very isolated. If Nordic were to come online without grid upgrades, it is possible that most of the Midcoast as a unit could not be restarted during a blackout without nearly everything ready to come back online at once. Everyone would be in the dark until everyone could come back online together. Why? Because Nordic’s demand would be like adding a 38,000-home subdivision to the Midcoast grid.

Nordic has suggested that its demand is not important, since it can create 14 MW through an onsite diesel power plant. This claim was reiterated as recently as last month in an incomplete response to BEP, when Nordic claimed that it has sufficient backup power by using eight onsite generators, but the math does not work, since 14 MW does not come close to 28 MW.

The likelihood of Nordic's meeting its own needs when the grid is down gets worse if you consider the power it is being asked to provide to the grid. There is a proposed condition from CMP that Nordic provide 4 MW of diesel-generated power to the grid “when needed” to address peak power needs. In this scenario, Nordic could be left with less than 10 MW or one third of its power demand. Again, the math does not work, and there has been no study by Nordic showing how it would continue to run the plant, achieve permit compliance and prevent a catastrophic fish kill.

Now Nordic has suggested that its demand will “ramp-up” over time as its facility is constructed, so CMP can upgrade the grid over time, and everything will be fine, but all of Nordic’s ancillary facilities would be built now, in Phase One. Nordic’s peak demand would be present from the beginning, and years before a single fish grows big enough to be brought to market. These questions must be fully answered before any new large users are added to the grid, and before we have a major power supply disaster like the one that recently unfolded in Texas.

Michael T. Lannan, P.E.

On behalf of Upstream Watch