Special Investigation: "The Lobbyist In The Henhouse"

Part 1: "Whose Interests Is Maine’s DEP Commissioner Serving?"

"For two years, public servant Patricia Aho has overseen Maine's environmental protection. But whom does she really serve? A seven-month investigation by the Telegram points to her former corporate clients. ... Overseen by a former chemical industry lobbyist, Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection resists regulations on substances that may be harmful to children and fetuses."

"EUSTIS — On a Wednesday in April, Flagstaff Lake was draining away.

When full, it is the state's fifth largest freshwater body, nurturing a local tourist economy and providing boating and swimming opportunities for thousands of residents and others visiting Maine.

But on days like this -- when the dam owner opens the sluiceways of the Long Falls Dam to generate power farther downstream -- the lake begins to disappear, leaving behind thousands of acres of muddy and largely lifeless bottom. Docks are left high and dry and shorefront homes, camps and parks become isolated behind hundreds of yards of exposed, foul-smelling muck."

Colin Woodard reports for the Portland Press Herald in part 1 of a 3-day investigative series June 15, 2013.


Part 2: "Efforts To Reduce Risks To Kids Run Into A Powerful Foe"

Part 3: "Maine Leaders Try And Fail To Dilute Recycling's Success"
"Sources Describe A Department Under Duress" (Portland Press Herald)

"'They're Just Not Doing Enforcement'" (Portland Press Herald)

"Sources Describe A Department Under Duress" (Portland Press Herald)

"Political Parties Split In Response To Newspaper Series" (Portland Press Herald)

Editorial: "Our View: Maine DEP Needs An Advocate, Not A Lobbyist" (Portland Press Herald)

Source: Portland Press Herald, 06/18/2013