A pile of Poland Spring water bottles. Gov. Paul LePage nominated Poland Spring hydrogeologist Mark Dubois to serve on the state's Board of Environmental Protection, which has been confirmed by the Senate. Credit: Brett Weinstein

The Maine Senate has narrowly confirmed the appointment of a hydrologist employed by Poland Spring to the citizen board overseeing and adjudicating environmental laws.

In a mostly party line vote, the Republican-controlled Senate voted 18-15 to confirm Mark Dubois to the Board of Environmental Protection, despite concerns that he will increase Poland Spring’s influence on the regulatory board while furthering the company’s aggressive expansion plans.

[LePage nominates Poland Spring geologist to Board of Environmental Protection]

Dubois has said that he’ll recuse himself from BEP deliberations involving his employer, which is owned by the multinational corporation Nestle Waters.

But that has not persuaded those who worry that Nestle already has too much influence on state and regulatory boards.

Some argued that Dubois’ recusal from Nestle cases before the BEP would only apply to public deliberations, not private discussions he might have with other board members.

Nestle has connections to members of two other regulatory boards, including the Public Utilities Commission and the Drinking Water Commission.

The Senate also voted to confirm Susan Lessard to the BEP. That vote was unanimous.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

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