from Nickie Seckera of Community Water Justice
August 31, 2014
It pleases me to hear that gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud has vocalized a lack of support for an East-West Corridor. YES. Michaud has however expressed interest in exploring / supporting rail options for the transport of natural resources. Here is Western Maine, things are becoming more serious now in discussions of resurrecting the Mountain Division rail line from Montreal to Portland through a high point of Crawford Notch in the White Mountain National Forest just over the border in New Hampshire. Industry besides oil that may be pushing for this very expensive privately-funded project is a new $80 million wood pellet processing factory (300,000 tons of pellets per year) that was built recently for export to Europe.
Additionally, Maine’s water is at risk for further exploitation by Nestle (Poland Spring brand). Nestle is planning on building ANOTHER bottling plant in Fryeburg, though the world’s largest water bottling plant lies a mere 35 miles away. Currently, business people in Fryeburg are looking to industrialize a very large area right alongside the rail route and records indicate that Nestle has secured permits for railroad access.
**Keep watch – a decision could be handed down from the MPUC in as little as 6 weeks for an approval for a precedent setting 25-45 year contract for Fryeburg’s groundwater. We just received notice that they will not be opening a new docket and the Commission will be upholding a ruling set by our conflict-of-interest ridden commission. Communities of Maine simply do not appear to be able to fight Nestle’s deep pockets and ability to intercept our democratic process. You can view the case file at the Maine Public Utilities Commission website: