Cianbro Corporation is proposing to dispose of 32,000 cubic yards of Penobscot River bottom sediment in west Penobscot Bay, about 4 ½ miles off Rockland. Cianbro plans to dredge the bottom of the river as part of redevelopment of the former Eastern Fine Paper Mill in Brewer. Cianbro will raze most of the mill buildings to create space for constructing modular building units. The modules, which are pre-plumbed and wired, are used by pharmaceutical and other industries, for example as temporary laboratory space.

Although Cianbro has not revealed the identity of its potential client, the company anticipates construction of 58 modules that will be transported down the Penobscot River via barge. The river next to the mill needs to be dredged to accommodate the 150- by 400-foot barges, which have a draft of about 16 feet. Dredging will take place during a time period that will reduce potential impacts on local populations of Atlantic salmon and the endangered shortnose sturgeon, Tom Ruksznis of Cianbro told the Brewer Planning Board, which unanimously approved the project in August. According to the public notice the dredging will require approximately 15 round trips of a dredge scow.

Permit applications are currently under state and federal review.

— Catherine Schmitt

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