being stripped any further. You can see a big hunk of the hill is already gone. The
gravel company mining it plans to remove the rest over the next 100 years,
leaving most of its 100 acres a deep pit 60’ below the level of the road.
This hill protects our drinking water – the aquifer beneath it and Cold Spring
which provides water to over 50 homes, our K-8 school, the town’s only
church, the fire department, and the Grange, where many community events
We, as a citizens group – Friends of Lamoine (FOL) – formed to stop permitting
new gravel pits in Lamoine. Town residents passed this restriction with 63% of
the vote. But the large gravel company’s proposal to remove the hill slipped in
before the restriction went into effect. We’ve hired a lawyer to help us fight
issuance of the mining permit in court.
Our legal fees are mounting, and we need help. Please contribute.
Please help us save our environment & protect our water!
Thanks for your consideration, Friends of Lamoine (click for our website
We would not have taken on this legal battle if we didn’t feel the collective will
of Lamoine residents solidly on our side. They are tired of the expansion of the
gravel industry on our small peninsula. It has created constant dump truck traffic,
dust, noise, moon-like landscapes and threats to our drinking water. Removal of
the hill puts our aquifer at risk of contamination from above and salt water
intrusion from below as well as diminished flow of water to the critical fresh water
Two prominent scientists from the University of Maine have refuted reports
by the gravel company’s hired hydrologists that little risk is involved.
Dr. Willem Brutsaert publicly testified more than once and recently wrote:
“Removal of the hill is a major disturbance of the landscape and will have serious
hydrologic consequences. What is certain is that the removal will create a large pit
that over a period of time will cause a profound lowering of the regional aquifer
water table, creating a steep new water table gradient (slope) toward the pit pulling
in water from every direction. During the operation of the project it will be
necessary to get rid of the water flowing into it, gradually draining all springs that
are now flowing out of the toe of the hill.”
Dr. Harold Borns, Jr. maintains that removing the filtering protection of
sand, gravel and vegetation puts the aquifer below at great risk of contamination.
Furthermore, this particular hill, commonly known as Cousins’ Hill, has geological
significance as a key site on the Ice Age Map, created by UMaine to depict effects
of glaciers eons ago.
And in contemporary times, generations of Lamoiners and visitors have
walked to its summit for the wonderful view of Frenchman Bay and the mountains
of Acadia National Park, a popular tourist attraction. From its location on Mount
Desert Island, you can look across the water to Cousins’ Hill.
Lamoine is a small coastal town, a peninsula in Frenchman Bay, a short
distance from Acadia National Park. We love the rural beauty of nearby Lamoine.
It is primarily residential, and many, many residents want to stop it from being
hauled away, 6 days each week, 12 hours each day, by outside gravel companies.
Early farmer and fishermen permitted small commercial gravel extraction here.
But in recent decades this has grown into a full blown industry.
Lamoine Planning Board twice turned down the gravel company’s
application to remove this hill. The gravel company appealed the first decision in
court (the appeal was dropped) and second to Lamoine Board of Appeals. That
board overturned the denial based on what Friends of Lamoine’s lawyer
maintains is an error. However the Planning Board had no choice but to issue the
permit this past summer. Therefore, Friends of Lamoine (FOL) filed a Complaint in
Hancock County Superior Court against the town to overturn the issuance of the
permit. The town is not defending itself (to avoid expense), but the gravel
company has engaged its legal team against us.
Our legal costs for the Complaint and subsequent Appeal are in excess of
$20,000. Many people in town have contributed to these expenses, but not
enough to cover the whole amount. Additional hours of legal work face us as our
attorney handles the case in court. We need $25,000 at this time to cover
existing and anticipated costs.
Please help us with this legal fight to save our environment & protect our water!
Aerial photo provided by gravel company showing pit location.
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