Accepting responsibility

To the Editor:

Thank you for publishing the article and the commentary in a recent issue of the Islander on the proposed oyster farm in Goose Cove.

I fully agree with the editorial’s suggestion to suspend the issuance of the permit until the so-called “bird study” (which lacks any statistical data) is fully explained by the FAA and the opponents have a fair chance to respond to the agencies decision with their concerns.

I want to add another disturbing aspect to the “Bureaucratic Boondoggle.”

I inquired about the liability for a bird strike in the event of an aircraft accident, and I am deeply disturbed that no agency takes responsibility. The answers which were communicated to me range from the FAA’s response of “… all I can say is that like most things in the law, it depends on the facts and circumstances of the specific case,” to that of an official with the U.S. Army Corps (ACOE) who said there are “… likely too many complicated permutations to allow any of us to answer that one.”

I was also told by a corps official that “All agencies are looking at the best available information to determine if the permit should be granted.

“Because the permit related to birds is part of the ACOE permit, they are the lead, but I am not sure a federal agency can be held to a liability standard related to a strike unless it was determined that they were negligent? In the end I would guess the courts would make that call.”

In other words, this is not only a bureaucratic boondoggle, but also a legal boondoggle in which no agency wants to be responsible if something terrible happens.

I am afraid that this lack of accepting responsibility also influenced the decision-making process along its way.

Michael Grunze

Mount Desert

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