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Bristol Area Lions Club learn about role of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Maine 10/26/2014

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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Lion John Janell (left) thanks Peter Tischbein for his enlightening talk.

Lion John Janell (left) thanks Peter Tischbein for his enlightening talk.

Peter Tischbein Project Manager, New England District, Maine Project Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was the speaker at the Oct. 20 meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club.

He obtained a bachelors degree in biology from Susquehanna University and subsequently obtained a masters degree in environmental science from Rutgers University in l983.

Tischbein was hired as a civilian employee for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District,
Manhattan and became supervisor of the New York Harbor. While working in Manhattan he obtained his MBA from Pace University.

He moved to Maine in 1989 and worked for 14 years for various Maine engineering and environmental
consulting firms. In 2003, he rejoined the Corps, New England District, Maine Project Office headquartered in Manchester, Maine with five other engineers. Tischbein serves Waldo, Knox and Lincoln counties.

Tischbein gave a brief history the Corps going back to General Washington when it was created to shore up the Bunker Hill defenses. The Army established the Corps of Engineers as a separate branch in 1802. From the beginning the Corps contributed to both military and works of a civil nature.

In 1899, the Army Corps took on regulation of navigable rivers and harbor tidewaters were added. In 1972, with the Clean Water Act, all rivers and bodies of water, including any dredged materials and their disposal. Tischbein gave Bath Iron Works as an example – in that before any new vessel is launched the Kennebec River channel has to be dredged.

Other projects include permitting private and commercial piers, aquaculture, gas pipelines across water, Maine Turnpike Authority’s request to relocate the York toll plaza near a wetland, as well as residential subdivisions and commercial buildings near wetlands, and even a private driveway crossing a stream.

There are many factors considered in approving permits: conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environments concerns, historic values, fish and wildlife values, flood damage prevention, land use, navigation, recreation, water supply, water quality, wetland values, energy needs, safety, food production and the needs and welfare of the people. It is a real balancing process.

Of the many permits submitted 80 percent are completed in 60 days. Of those, 80 percent of permits are not appealable and 20 percent of larger projects will have public input. Many times it is a matter of suggesting modification of the scope or boundaries of a project.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions is Monday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. To make dinner reservations call Herb Watson at 677-6191. To learn more about the Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, please contact Walt Johansson at 677-2584 or visit

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