Hello. This is Governor Paul LePage.
From the moment I started campaigning for Governor, I've been unfairly accused by activists with an agenda of my not being supportive of protecting our state's environment. Six months into my term as Governor of the State of Maine, I've proved that these allegations are not just unfair, but that they are downright untrue.
I was born, raised, educated, and have worked in Maine.
I share the appreciation and commitment to Maine's pristine environment held by so many of us and I also share the values and vision held high by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection -- or Maine DEP -- that strong stewardship of our natural resources will ensure a sustainable economy for future generations.
Last week, I joined Maine DEP and the Attorney General's Office to announce our securing of a $900,000 settlement from oil company Chevron for their decades of discharging a total of more than 100,000 gallons of oil into the ground in Hampden. More than half of that money will go directly to the town of Hampden to help them preserve a 12-acre riverside public park and boat launch. The remainder of the settlement will go to the Maine Inland and Coastal Surface Oil Clean-Up Fund, to cover costs at future surface water spills. Meanwhile, at the contaminated site, DEP and Chevron continue to collaborate on the largest oil terminal clean-up effort ever in the state of Maine.
This settlement shows that my administration is committed to enforcing environmental laws and will hold every business - big and small -- accountable when they break our laws.
This environmental improvement project is one of many we are taking on. Last month, DEP officials joined economic development and community officials from communities across Maine to accept nearly $3 million in money from the federal Environmental Protection Agency for revitalization of former industrial and commercial sites, known as Brownfields. These federal funds are hugely helpful to restoring environmental vitality and activating economic development in areas that have been in need of assistance for so long by reducing blight, putting long vacant properties back in use and on the tax rolls.
In Maine, the revitalization of these sites since the Brownfields program began in late 2003 has created more than 600 good-paying, permanent positions and hundreds of short term jobs for consultants, cleanup contractors and construction workers as these 1,200 revitalized acres have been readied for redevelopment.
Brownfields projects demonstrate that the right thing to do for our health and environment is also the right thing to do for our economy.
These high profile environmental success stories are among many my administration is proud to be a part of as we help make Maine's future become stronger and more sustainable.
And though we were told that it couldn't be done, we have found the common ground between environmental and economic interests. And Maine's land is one which you have my promise --and now my record- I will pledge to protect.
Thank you for listening. Anne and I hope you enjoy the weekend.