Before we dive into the business of the day, I’d first like to take a moment to thank our members and sponsors for their outpouring of support at our annual golf tournament. Even though the weather didn’t fully cooperate, everyone had a great time and it was certainly nice to see so many friendly faces. For those who missed it, the results of the tournament are below.
On a more serious note, Congressman Golden’s bill, H.R. 6707, “Advancing Equity for Wabanaki Nations Act”, has advanced to the Senate attached to two unrelated bills – the Interior Appropriations Bill and the National Defense Authorization Act – despite the grave concerns of the administration and the Council.
While the Council remains committed to working with the Tribes to advance equity and solve problems as they arise, we view this bill as a striking departure from the settlement that was agreed upon more than 40 years ago. Should it become law, we are confident that it would cause significant chaos and uncertainty for our industry, eventually enabling a patchwork of environmental laws and regulations across the state that would be unmanageable.
The Council has been in close contact with the federal delegation on this issue, and we will continue to provide our expertise and perspective during the Senate process with the goal of eliminating H.R. 6707 from the unrelated vehicles to which it has been attached.
Also of note, the Maine DEP denied the water quality certification renewal for Shawmut dam in Skowhegan “without prejudice.” The Department issued this press release announcing their decision, in which they invited Brookfield to reapply following federal evaluation. Brookfield’s response to the Department’s draft decision is included below.
There has also been movement on the Sunday hunting lawsuit (update provided below), and the Council submitted a comment to the LUPC in response to the draft Moosehead Region Planning Package. LUPC is expected to vote on the final package during its September meeting.
Finally, the Council is working on a number of upcoming events. With the annual meeting just around the corner, we are in the process of finalizing award recipients now. We will send a special notice out as soon as we have finalized those decisions. We are also seeking raffle donations (details below). Please RSVP now in order to secure your spot at this two-day event in Bethel. We are also in the process of planning our fall candidate breakfast series with five locations around the state. If you or your company would like to sponsor an event, please let us know!
That’s all for now. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns or questions. I hope to see you all at our annual meeting next month!