PROMPTED BY THE ONGOING process that could lead to the removal of Fort Halifax dam on the Sebasticook river in the US, two legislators in the state of Maine have introduced bills that would ensure local communities get a stronger say in the fate of dams.

Both politicians argue that the state failed to inform and include municipalities in the initiative that could culminate in the breaching of the dam this year.

Under their proposal, Legislative Document 709 to be introduced in the state legislature, the state would have to hold public hearings prior to state agreements for dam removal. The bill is retroactive to 1996 and thus, if approved, could lead to a public hearing on Fort Halifax dam.

The two are cosponsoring a related piece of legislation to renegotiate the fish passage timetable at Fort Halifax, Benton Falls and Burnham dam.