Maine officials seek input on closed lobstering area

Maine officials are seeking input on a small area that is closed to lobstering and crab fishing because of concerns about mercury contamination.

A public hearing will be held Monday on the state’s closure of seven square miles to lobstering at the mouth of the Penobscot River. The hearing is at the Bucksport Middle School Performing Arts Center. The state will accept comments until March 31.

Lobsters around the Penobscot River were monitored for years before the state says it found high enough levels of mercury to enact the closure on Feb. 22. The small closure will last a minimum of two years and affect an estimated 10 lobstermen out of thousands.

The mercury found in the contaminated lobster is roughly the same found in a can of tuna.



LePage to address forum dealing with energy issues

Gov. Paul LePage will address lawmakers, business leaders and environmentalists gathering to discuss regional energy issues this week.

LePage is expected to deliver the opening remarks at the Environmental & Technology Council of Maine’s annual forum in conjunction with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

The event will focus on a number of issues, including diversifying Maine’s energy supply portfolio and public investments in energy infrastructure.

LePage’s remarks will be followed by panel discussions with industry experts, including Tom Welch, chairman of Maine’s Public Utilities Commission. Others expected to participate include Eric Johnson of ISO New England and Sean Mahoney, executive vice president of the Conservation Law Foundation.



Memorial Bridge closing overnight for five days

The Memorial Bridge that connects New Hampshire and Maine is closing overnight for an additional five days for adjustments.

The bridge that runs between Kittery and Portsmouth, N.H., will be closed to all traffic – vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian – from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning Sunday.

The closures are necessary to make adjustments to the guiderail on the towers.

The work is due to wrap up and the closures to end by 5 a.m. March 21.

The new, $81 million Memorial Bridge opened last August. It replaced one that opened in 1923 and closed for two years in July 2011 so the replacement project could get under way.

– From staff and news services

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