New Law Allows U.S. Navy Ship Safe Passage in Maine Waters

June 6, 2011

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 06, 2011 Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

Augusta, Maine – Governor Paul LePage signed into law Friday a bill that supports U.S. Navy efforts to add another ship to its active fleet. LD 1398, “An Act to Amend the Laws Administered by the Department of Environmental Protection” was signed Friday afternoon.

The U.S. Navy will take delivery of the U.S.S. SPRUANCE from Bath Iron Works on September 1, 2011 and the vessel is critical to fleet operations and national defense. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently applied to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for a permit in order to dredge two areas of the Kennebec River to ensure safe passage of the ship. The DEP issued a permit to the Army Corps of Engineers under the condition that the Maine Legislature corrected a water classification error which was discovered. According to the DEP and Attorney General the Kennebec River Classification was incorrectly delineated on the river. In order to fix the classification and provide for legal dredging, legislation was necessary. The error was rectified in LD 1398 exiting the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources with bipartisan support.