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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Hundreds of people were inthe Queen City Monday night toget their opinions outon a big issue in the midcoast.

The question is should parts of Searsport Harbor be dredged deeper to help larger ships get into port. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is looking to launch that project with the help of the Maine Port Authority.

The two groups hosted a public information meeting at the Cross Insurance Center Monday night. Their plan is to take parts of the harbor floor down from 35 feet to 40 feet.

Many environmental groups are critical of the project. They fear doing that could bear consequences for types of sea fish and also unearth a lot of industrial elements on the harbor floor.

"A lot of the sediments you're going to dig haven't been dug since the beginning of the industrial age," said Ron Huber, who is the executive director of 'Friends of Penobscot Bay,' "not just the other stuff. There's dioxin...there's mercury..there's everything that ever came down here from Bangor."

"The area that we're talking about isn't on the list," said Steven Wolf, who is with Army Corps of Engineers, "mercury concentrations are below the level that they actually want to clean things up to."

The army corps of engineers is currently looking to getnecessary permitting for the project from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Anyone who wasn't at Monday's meeting can still write in their questions and concerns by e-mailing to channeldredge.dep@maine.gov.

Written remarks can also be sent to:

State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Bangor Regional Office, 106 Hogan Road, Suite 6, Bangor Maine 04401.

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