Maine Natural Gas begins construction efforts

AUGUSTA — Maine Natural Gas has signed contracts with three Maine companies to start construction of what officials say will be the steel pipe backbone of its natural gas distribution system in Augusta.

Brunswick-based Maine Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, which also owns Central Maine Power Co., has contracted with Enterprise Trenchless Technologies of Lisbon Falls, Cianbro of Pittsfield, and Shaw Brothers Construction of Gorham, according to a news release.

Bob Kump, CEO of Iberdrola USA, said in the release that the construction is the next major milestone for the firm as it seeks to bring natural gas to Augusta and the rest of the Kennebec Valley.

Maine Natural Gas is one of two companies competing to bring natural gas to the area, each via its own proposed pipeline. Summit Natural Gas of Maine, a subsidiary of Colorado-based Summit Utilities, is the other firm.

Both companies plan to tap into the Maritimes and Northeast transmission pipeline in Windsor to bring gas to Augusta and beyond.

The 12-inch, 10.5 mile-long pipeline the three contractors will work on for Maine Natural Gas will serve customers in the Augusta area, traveling west along Route 17, crossing the Kennebec River and continuing to the new MaineGeneral hospital under construction in north Augusta.

Advisory Commission holds annual meeting

AUGUSTA — The annual meeting of the River Flow Advisory Commission will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. today at the Maine Emergency Management Agency Offices/Public Safety building, 45 Commerce Drive.

The commission meets in late winter to share information, examine potential for spring flooding and renew operational protocols. Attendees will review such factors as snowpack, stream flow, short- and long-term weather forecasts, and reservoir levels.

Participants will be available for interview following the meeting.

Air Quality conference set for March 12, 13

AUGUSTA — The Maine Indoor Air Quality Council will host its annual conference from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, March 12 and 13, at the Augusta Civic Center.

The event features full-day Healthy Indoor Air for Schools event — free for school district representatives — on practical strategies to promote green and healthy student facilities and a workshop on Building an IAQ Healthy Home — Residential Renovations for building professionals, as well as 15 workshops for those interested in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of safe and healthy spaces where Maine residents live, work and learn.

There will be a keynote presentation by William Fisk, senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

For more information, call Christine Crocker at 626-8115, email christy@maineindoorair.org or visit www.maineindoorair.org.

Planning board workshop offered

WALDOBORO — The Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission and the town of Waldoboro will offer a Planning Board Procedures workshop at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at the Town Office.

The workshop will be presented by Town Planner Bill Najpauer and Lincoln County Planner Bob Faunce. Local officials and the public are welcome.

There will be information handouts, and refreshments will be served. Code enforcement officers who attend can qualify for CE credits.

For more information, call Bob Faunce at 784-2617 or email rfaunce@lcrpc.org.