March 25, 2013

Trees standing in way of boatyard proposal

Environmentalists oppose a bill that would exempt 'working waterfronts' from a state law.

By Tom Bell tbell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Portland Yacht Services owner Phineas Sprague shows a section of the Portland waterfront where he hopes to build a boatyard.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

That's because Sprague subsequently decided to move his proposed boatyard farther west and "into the trees," thus freeing up land next to the International Marine Terminal for a cargo-related development, such as a cold-storage warehouse.

Eimskip officials have said they hope that the steady supply of frozen fish it will import from northern Europe will encourage someone to build a new cold-storage warehouse on the waterfront.


The Environment and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday tabled the bill because it was unable to reach consensus. This Tuesday, Bennett, of the Natural Resources Council, will meet with DEP officials and several lawmakers to discuss whether they can agree on a proposal they can bring back to the committee.

"I am willing to talk it through with folks," Bennett said in an interview.

While several committee members remain concerned that the bill is too expansive, everyone wants to help foster development on working waterfronts, said the committee's co-chair, Rep. Joan Welsh, D-Rockport.

Rep. Janice Cooper, D-Yarmouth, said she is optimistic that the committee will support a bill that will allow Sprague's project to proceed.

"We are going to work on crafting a better bill," she said. "The aim is to draw it as narrowly as possible so projects like Mr. Sprague's can go forward and not have the unintended consequences of ruining pristine areas."

Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at:



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