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Magic City
Morning Star

Who is Going to Clean up Millinocket Stream?

MILLINOCKET -- Residents with property along Millinocket Stream are upset. With water levels in the stream at all all-time low, the waterway has become unsightly and odorous.

“It’s real bad,” said John DiCentes. “It’s a dump,” he added. “It stinks.”

Residents, including Mr. DiCentes, say that when people visit, they hate for them to go down by the stream.

Specific complaints include rust-stained mud and water, a “yellow foam” floating upon the water, and oil polluting the stream.

Water levels have receded far from the natural banks of the stream.

“Go down there and try to put one of your boats in the landing,” said Mr. DiCentes. “You can’t do it.”

DiCentes told the town council that he had already filed complaints with the state Department of Environmental Protection.

“I’m not stopping now,” he said. “It’s got to be cleaned up.”

The Millinocket town manager said that the city had already received a call from D.E.P in reference to DiCentes’ complaint.

“This is not something that the D.E.P. is going to do something about at this time,” said Eugene Conlogue.

DiCentes told the Morning Star that he grew up in the area, and has live next to the stream for more than 20 years, and it has never been this bad before.

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DiCentes told the Morning Star that he grew up in the area, and has live next to the stream for more than 20 years, and it has never been this bad before.

“The least we can do is ask, to see what we can do,” he said, “but we can’t just leave it like this.”

At first glance, it would appear that the only problem with Millinocket Stream is that the water levels are low, but a second glance reveals a very sick waterway.

I began by looking at the stream behind Mr. DiCentes’ house. He showed me what appears to be a sorbent boom, which he says was used to absorb oil from an oil spill near the Central Street bridge many years ago, but which was then left in the water, where it floated downstream until it came to rest on a sandbar behind the residential area on Congress Street.

Intrigued, I set about the following week, on May 27th, to look more closely at the stream.

With camera in hand, I first walked the length of the stream from the Cherry Street bridge to the Central Street bridge, then crossed, and walked back on the east side of the stream.

I’ve never thought of myself as an environmentalist, but I was appalled by what I saw, and smelled.

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