Initially scheduled for a two hour hearing, the committee heard public testimony for close to six hours.(See PDF of all written testimony submitted to Committee) Those opposed came specifically to speak to Jerry Reid's record on Tribal rights, water quality standards in tribal sustenance fishing waters and Tribal sovereignty, specifically in the Penobscot River.
As Assistant Attorney General, under Attorney General Janet Mills, Jerry Reid was lead counsel representing the State, in conjunction with industrial interests, in two currently active cases directly opposing Tribal sovereignty and environmental stewardship. These are Penobscot Nation v. Attorney General Janet Mills, in which the state refutes the existence of Tribal waters within the Penobscot River, a charge the Tribe takes as an existential threat, and in the State of Maine's lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency for their order to increase water quality standards in tribal sustenance fishing waters in Maine.
Though all Committee members present voted to recommend Reid for confirmation, there was universal sentiment expressed that Reid prioritize Tribal water quality issues and the repairing of Tribal-State relations, and that they would be keeping an eye on this work. This was expressed directly to Reid by each member present before they voted to confirm ( See transcript, under “Coverage”, and in last video segment of public hearing).
Jerry Reid addressed Tribal relations and water quality issues in his opening and closing remarks and in answers to Committee questions. (Also see transcripts, under “Coverage”)
He was confirmed by the full Senate on January 31st.
Penobscots Speak On Reid Nomination to DEP
Governor Janet Mills has said, relations with the Wabanaki Tribes in Maine would be different from what they had been when she was State Attorney-General. But Governor Mills' nomination of Assistant Attorney General Jerry Reid to serve as the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection has Tribal members alarmed, since his positions to date have disregarded treaty rights and past interpretations of the Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act to the detriment of environmental protections.
From Our Friends at Community Water Justice
He was just appointed by Gov Janet Mills to serve as the next Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).