News

Rockland, Maine Passes Groundbreaking Energy Policy to Protect Community & Environment

For Immediate Release: July 18, 2016

Contacts:

Andy Jones, Toxics Action Center, 207-871-1810

Rockland, Maine--In response to a 2015 natural gas power plant and pipeline proposal, Rockland residents united to protect their community and environment from potential adverse impacts of this development on their air, water, and quality of life. After months of study and hard work by volunteer committees and city staff, Rockland’s City Council addressed these community concerns by voting 4-1 on Monday, July 11 to enact innovative energy policy that ensures local development aligns with community values and resources.

Hailed by local advocacy group Renew Rockland as groundbreaking, this first-in-the nation policy sets ambitious environmental targets for power plants, including:

  • A requirement that natural gas power plants REDUCE net air emissions in Rockland. 
  • A cap on potable water usage. 
  • Aggressive water reuse and recycling standards. 
  • The preparation of a decommissioning plan before approval by local authorities.
  • The use of best available technology to meet environmental, safety, and quality of life standards that generally exceed state and federal guidelines.

 

The public process of crafting these ordinances has been extensive, inclusive, and transparent. It involved the City’s Planning Board, Energy Advisory Committee, Comprehensive Planning Commission, and City Council, as well as multiple rounds of input from residents, expert consultants, city staff, and environmental and business advocacy groups. This process resulted in ambitious energy policy that is effective as well as attainable and fair.

According to Renew Rockland’s Amy Files, “We couldn’t be more proud of Rockland right now. These innovative ordinances are a unique set of responses to residents’ concerns surrounding impacts of a potential power plant on our natural resources and quality of life. Many volunteers put considerable effort into this and have helped to put Rockland on the map for environmental stewardship. We are thrilled with the outcome and positive results.”

Renew Rockland is a local community advocacy group that has played a prominent role in the vigorous public debate over Rockland’s energy policy. Renew Rockland’s mission is to promote sustainable economic growth and a healthy community by educating on the importance of protecting our natural resources, encouraging green infrastructure, promoting renewable technology and energy efficiency, and ending our dependence on fossil fuels.

Renew Rockland supports Rockland’s transition to 100% renewable energy, is engaging with the public to help in this endeavor, and feels these ordinances are a step in that direction.

For language of the complete ordinances: http://tinyurl.com/rockland-law-1 http://tinyurl.com/rockland-law-2

For more information on Renew Rockland: https://www.facebook.com/renewthemidcoast

For further information, contact Renew Rockland at: info@renewrocklandme.com