Commentary: License to kill – Brookfield’s dams and Maine’s rivers
A major July fish kill on one of Maine’s most revered fisheries shows why Mainers must be concerned as Brookfield seeks to renew its dam licenses. A line of thunderstorms rolled through the mountains of western Maine on July 7, a natural event in this wet summer of 2023. What happened next, however, was anything but natural and resulted in a major fish kill on one of Maine’s most revered fisheries – the West Branch of the Penobscot River. This event also provided the latest example of Canada-based Brookfield Renewable Partners’ careless disregard for the many Maine dams it owns and rivers it controls and why Mainers who care about our environment should be concerned as Brookfield seeks to renew its 30- to 50-year federal licenses to operate its dams. It must be made clear that a license to operate dams is not a license to kill.