Below is a statement from the organizations of the Kennebec Coalition (Atlantic Salmon Federation, Maine Rivers, Trout Unlimited, Natural Resources Council of Maine) and the Conservation Law Foundation in response to the lawsuit filed by Brookfield on September 27th against the State of Maine:
“Brookfield’s lawsuit against the State of Maine is frivolous. Brookfield’s claim that DMR cannot submit comments, based on the best science available, to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and DEP is preposterous. Both FERC and DEP actively solicit comment from state agencies during their regulatory processes. The lawsuit is distraction from the fact that Brookfield continues to violate the Endangered Species Act. It is a transparent attempt to prevent state agencies from protecting Kennebec River fish and water quality as required under the laws of Maine and the United States.
Brookfield’s problem is that it has proposed fish passage plans for the Kennebec dams that everyone knows will not work and thus will not meet Maine’s water quality standards. Brookfield does not seem to understand that its dams are blocking a critically endangered species, Atlantic salmon, from the Sandy River, some of the best spawning and rearing habitat in the United States.
Brookfield is proposing the same old failed fish passage schemes that have extirpated salmon from rivers where they once thrived, like the Connecticut and the Merrimack, but they want everyone to believe things will be different on the Kennebec. They have not and they will not unless and until Brookfield’s actions meet its rhetoric.
If Brookfield get its way, Atlantic salmon will disappear from the Kennebec just as they have from the other rivers where there are multiple dams with the kind of fish passage systems that Brookfield is proposing.
Moreover, Brookfield’s fish passage plans will not support the other great runs of sea-run fish on the Kennebec that are so important to Maine’s multi-billion dollar marine industries, such as river herring, shad, and American eel. Brookfield’s arrogance and self-interest will harm the entire Gulf of Maine ecosystem and all of the people who depend on a healthy Gulf of Maine for their living.
Brookfield needs to come up with real solutions instead of frivolous lawsuits.”
- Earlier this month, Brookfield was sued for repeatedly violating the Endangered Species Act on the Kennebec.
- Watch videos of Maine people who care about the future of our rivers speaking out in support of a free-flowing Kennebec.