An Act to Amend the Dissolved Oxygen Standard and the Bacteria Standard for Class C Waters (2004)

This passage of this bill was one of the biggest disappointments of the 121st Legislature. Since 1987, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has required that Class C rivers contain 6.5 parts per million of dissolved oxygen. That standard is necessary for the good health of trout, salmon, and other life that requires oxygen, and every discharger in the state meets that standard or a higher one – with the exception of two paper mills on the Androscoggin River and one on the St. Croix River. The DEP worked for four years to require them to meet the higher standard, but the mills pointed out, correctly, that because it was not established in law, they didn’t have to meet it. As originally introduced, LD #1899 put the standard in law, but intense opposition from the industry led to passage of a weaker version. The result is that the Androscoggin and the St. Croix Rivers will be allowed to remain more polluted than any others in the state.

Senate Votes

District Name Vote

House Votes

District Name Vote
109 Susan M. W. Austin
16 Margaret M. Craven
95 H. Sawin Millett Jr.
31 Anne C. Perry
124 Joseph C. Perry Sr.