WATERVILLE — Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, is sponsoring a bill to help protect the Sappi dam in Waterville.
According to the senate president’s office, the future of the Shawmut Dam has been called into question after the Maine Department of Environmental Protection denied a permit to build a new fishway.
Jackson, a fifth-generation logger, said by protecting the dam they will be saving jobs at the Sappi mill.
“If the dam is not there, the water level is too low for them to have the influx of water needed to run the dam. It cannot be removed and not affect Sappi. There is just no way,” he said.
House Republicans have said shutting down the dam could have a devastating effect on Maine’s economy.
They said the Sappi mill employs more than 700 Mainers.
The bill is expected to be reviewed at the start of the next legislative session.