To the Editor: Wishful thinking



To the Editor:

It is hard to disagree with any of the points Jim Valette made in last week’s Islander regarding the proposed contract between the Municipal Review Commission (MRC) and Delta Thermal Energy (DTE.)

MRC bought a ‘pig in a poke’ contracting with Fiberight, with no experience other than a small pilot plant. Any engineer knows that scaling up a pilot plant to full-scale operation is never a sure thing. MRC either did not engage a good engineer or ignored his advice. That Fiberight could not even construct its base building without a one-year delay should have shown the firm was not as competent as believed. Without contracts or permits for its product, Fiberight could not succeed. It’s hard to believe MRC did not do the required due diligence review but apparently they did not. Nor, apparently, was the contract written with adequate guarantees or insurances.

You’d think MRC learned something from that experience, but apparently not. It’s negotiating with an even more problematic operator, DTE, that, as Mr. Valette describes, and recent articles in the Bangor Daily News relate: a.) has never run a facility like Fiberight’s, b.) proposes to add an unproven process that isn’t examined or permitted by Maine DEP, c.) has (perhaps – there seems some question) experience only with a small pilot facility and d.) has possibly falsified some of its references and credentials.

Visualize a meeting between MRC and DTE:

MRC: “You will run a facility that does A, B and C.”

DTE: “No, we propose X, Y and Z.”

MRC: “Oh, that’s OK, then.”

Is this good management practice? It’s time to re-think MRC’s approach. MRC’s wishful thinking will not assure our towns an effective, efficient and environmentally-sound handling of our waste stream.

 

Donald Lodge

Southwest Harbor

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