Settlement Provides Funds to Restore Penobscot River Site in Maine

View of the Penobscot River looking just north of the site from the southeast side of the river.
View of the Penobscot River looking just north of the site from the southeast side of the river.

Settlement Provides Funds to Restore Penobscot River Site in Maine

July 12, 2016

On July 8, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine approved a $922,862 settlement with Chevron USA, Inc., and Texaco, Inc., et al., to compensate for injuries to the public’s natural resources for releases of oil at the marine oil terminal site in Hampden, Maine. Chevron and Texaco are former owners or operators of the inactive marine oil terminals [Gulf-Chevron Terminal Facility]. The settlement includes $880,000 to provide restoration for injuries to natural resources, including aquatic habitat as well as lost recreational uses. It also reimbursed federal Trustees for their costs to assess the impacts.

The contaminants of most concern to NOAA and the other Trustees (The Department of the Interior and the State of Maine) at this freshwater tidal site are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Known as a group of organic contaminants that are often the byproduct of petroleum processing, PAHs were found in river sediment at the site. Natural resources of most concern to NOAA include migratory fish, such as the endangered Atlantic salmon and shortnose sturgeon, as well as river herring, and striped bass.

In the next step toward restoration, NOAA and the other Trustees will evaluate natural resource restoration opportunities in the fall and we will seek public input during that planning process.