Penobscot Nation blames paper mill for water bloom

The Penobscot Nation of Maine is blaming a paper mill for a massive algae bloom in the Penobscot River.

The tribe has warned members to avoid swimming in or drinking from the river. "We’re really taking the precautionary approach in the event that it is toxic," John Banks, the director of the Department of Natural Resources, told The Bangor Daily News.

The state has issued a notice of violation to Katahdin Paper Co. for phosphorus discharges. Tests have not confirmed that the bloom is toxic.

The tribe has been battling the state and paper mills over water quality. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, however, ruled that the tribe lacks the authority to regulate discharges that affect the reservation.

Get the Story:
Mill blamed for massive algae bloom (The Bangor Daily News 8/28)

Court Decision:
Maine v. EPA (August 8, 2007)

Relevant Documents:
EPA Federal Register Notice | PDF version

Relevant Links:
Penobscot Nation -

Related Stories:
Opinion: Maine waters need tribal protections (08/17)
Maine tribes disappointed by defeat in court (8/10)
Sovereignty limits on Maine tribes upheld (8/10)
EPA allows state jurisdiction over Maine tribal lands (12/3)