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SEARS ISLAND CARGOPORT PROJECT

Maine DOT's Selected Chronology of Events (Written in 1993)

1976 - 1980 State coastal plans pick Searsport, Eastport and Portland for future port development. Sears Island is a top priority with a very favorable benefit-cost ratio.

November 1981 Maine voters approve $12.5 million bond issue for Sears Island

March 1982 . Preliminary engineering commences for cargoport

October 1982 . State and federal permit applications initiated

December 1982 . Final design completed

May 1983 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is designated as the lead agency for processing federal permits for causeway and marine terminal

September 1983 . A public hearing is held by FHWA, the Corps of Engineers and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

October 1983. The Maine DEP approves permit for marine terminal

November 1983 . Maine voters approve another bond issue for the project

December 1983 Corps issues an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the entire project

July 1984 . Corps issues Statement of Findings (SOF) and EA followed in August by a supplemental SOF/EA and in September by the issuance of permits ,

October 1984 Sierra Club files first suit Challenges issuance of permits without completing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

December 1984 Sierra Club files second suit, Challenges Coast Guard's issuance of a bridge permit for causeway

January 1985 First Sierra suit denied in U. S. District Court. Cianbro awarded cargoport dredging contract

March 1985 Second Sierra suit upheld,,

August 1985 Sierra Club wins first suit on appeal; EIS must be performed

September 1985 Dredging Dredging and other construction work is terminated

December 1985 MDOT and FHWA hold first EIS scoping session

July 1986 . Draft EIS issued

August 1986 . Public Hearing held on Draft EIS

October 1987 . Final EIS approved by Federal Highway Administration

December 1987 The Corps meets with the EPA, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S.F&W), and the National Marine Fisheries Service to discuss their opposition to the project. Meetings continue into 1988

December 1987 FHWA issues Record of Decision approving Sears Island Project

March 1988 Corps issues Record of Decision approving Sears Island project

May 1988 Sierra Club files a four count complaint to halt the project

July 1988 Coast Guard issues Record of Decision permitting MDOT to construct the causeway to Sears Island .

August 1988 Sierra Club requests preliminary injunction to halt construction of causeway

September 1988 Request for injunction by Sierra Club denied

October 1988 Dredging, causeway construction recommence

March 1989 On appeal the Sierra Club has the First Circuit Court of Appeals vacate the decision of the District Court and remand the case for further proceedings

May 1989 District Court issues preliminary injunction .

July 1989. MDOT agrees to prepare Supplemental Information Report

December 1989 Two independent consulting teams meet with MDOT to review their wetlands reconnaissance work

July 1991 . Decision made to complete a Supplemental EIS instead of a Supplemental Information Report

July 1992 Booz-Allen Hamilton updates their 1987 cargoport market study for MDOT

July 1993 . MDOT consultants complete alternative site studies for Mack Point and Sears Island. Studies on co-locating coal and woodchip handling facilities are also released .

August 1993 MDOT proceeds on mitigation plans and completion of Draft Supplemental EIS