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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Monday, September 29, 2014 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news stories and events. I have posted links to more than 34,000 news articles and announcements. I also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to my attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. Will Sugg is the website developer. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Ask Maine to require disclosure of toxic phthalates
Action Alert - Monday, September 29, 2014 

Exposure to phthalates during pregnancy and early childhood has been linked to reproductive problems, learning disabilities, asthma and allergies. Ask the Maine DEP to require companies to let us know when this toxic chemical is in a product. Deadline is September 29. ~ Andy Jones, Toxics Action Center
Send your questions for forum on Bear Hunt
Action Alert - Sunday, September 28, 2014 

The Portland Press Herald and WCSH-TV will host a forum on November’s statewide referendum on bear-hunting practices. Representatives from the Yes on 1 and the No on 1 campaigns will field questions from Portland Press Herald outdoors reporter Deirdre Fleming and News Center reporter Bill Green. The taped forum will be aired at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14, on WCSH (Ch. 6) in Portland and WLBZ (Ch. 2) in Bangor. You are invited to send questions that may be asked of the panelists.
AMC Fall Gathering, Oct 17-19
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 25, 2014 

The annual Appalachian Mountain Club Fall Gathering will be at Camp Wavus on Damariscotta Lake in Jefferson, October 17-19. Many hikes, talks and other events.
Conservation Leadership Awards, Oct 15
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine will honor Maine people who have gone to great lengths to protect Maine’s environment. At Maple Hill Farm in Hallowell, Oct 15,5-7 pm.
Hike the Proposed National Park Land During Peak Foliage, Oct 11
Event - Posted - Monday, September 22, 2014 

Hike six miles roundtrip, along a portion of the International Appalachian Trail, over Katahdin Brook, to the top of Barnard Mountain along a trail created this summer by the Maine Conservation Corps. At the top of Barnard Mountain are spectacular views of Katahdin, Katahdin Lake, and the Traveler Mountains. Oct 11, 10:30 am. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine.
SeaWatch 2014 at Schoodic Point
Event - Posted - Monday, September 22, 2014 

A citizen science program conducted by staff and volunteers of the Schoodic Institute’s Bird Ecology Program. On Mondays & Thursdays, 6:30 am - 8:30 am.
McKibben to speak at UM, Oct 7
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 21, 2014 

Environmentalist Bill McKibben will speak about “Making a Life on a Tough New Planet” at the University of Maine, Orono, Collins Center for the Arts, Oct 7, 3:30-5 pm.
Stories from Ireland’s First Wilderness, Oct 5
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 20, 2014 

Bill Murphy will give a talk highlighting the Wild Nephin wilderness area in County Mayo, Ireland, some of the projected economic benefits of the Nephin project, and parallels with the Katahdin region. At Baxter State Park Headquarters, Millinocket, Oct 5, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Baxter State Park.
Wilderness Writing, Oct 3-5
Event - Posted - Friday, September 19, 2014 

Writing workshop. At Lunksoos Camps, a rustic, historic camp located on the East Branch of the Penobscot River, Oct 3-5. Pre-register. Sponsored by Sierra Club Maine.
Evening for the Environment, Oct 2
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 

Maine Conservation Voters will host the 12th annual Evening for the Environment on October 2 at the Abromson Center at USM. Carol Browner will keynote. She was President Clinton’s EPA Administrator and Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy in the Obama Administration.
Convergence Conference, Oct 2
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 

Annual Convergence Conferences serve as the annual networking meeting of conservation professionals, educators, researchers, and managers in eastern Maine. This year's event is titled Land and Water: the Conservation Connection. The keynote speaker will be Alan Hutchinson. At Schoodic Education Research Center, Winter Harbor, Oct 2, $30.
Fire Lookouts in Maine, Oct 2
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 

Bill Cobb, director of the Maine Chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association, will present an illustrated talk about the rise and fall of Maine’s forest fire lookout network. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, Oct 7 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Maine Land Trust Network Stewardship Field Day, Oct 1
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 

The Maine Land Trust Network will hold its second annual Stewardship Field Day at Baxter State Park's Austin Cary Demonstration Woodlot and Harpwell Heritage Land Trust headquarters on October 1, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm.
Inspired By Nature, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Monday, September 15, 2014 

Join Matt Dubel, Executive Director of the Cathance River Education Alliance, as he shares the stories of eco-innovators who are using nature as a model for everything from growing food to designing products to making decisions. At Topsham Public Library, September 30, 6:30 pm.
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Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods, Editor, Maine Environmental News.
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News Items
Wildlife populations of about 3,000 species plummet far worse than previously thought
Other - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 

Populations of about 3,000 species of wildlife around the world have plummeted far worse than previously thought, according to a new study by one of the world's biggest environmental groups. The study Tuesday largely blamed human threats to nature for a 52 percent decline in wildlife populations between 1970 and 2010.
Letter: Vote fair for bear
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 

Maine is the last state in the country to still allow the unnecessarily cruel practices of trapping, hounding and baiting bears. Bear hunting in Maine is big business, never known for its morality. As for fear of public safety, in 40 years of living in the Maine woods, I have seen black bears exactly three times, all of them running away from me. Yet we kill them by the thousands. So one has to wonder why there is such fervor to hunt these shy and intelligent beings other than “fun and money.” For bear facts instead of myths, you can go to the organization that has actually studied bears for many years: I urge those of you who care about our black bears to get out and vote in favor of the fair bear law. ~ Gail Rein, Bryant Pond
Mountain lion in Maine? You be the judge
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Monday, September 29, 2014 

Many folks will tell you that mountain lions walk among us. Mainers have been reporting mountain lion sightings for years. Some of those “cougars” turn out to be bobcats. Others are dogs. Even large housecats have been mistaken for mountain lions over the years. This morning, I’ve got another report to pass along. Edwin Ecker Jr. reached out over the weekend with his tale. And unlike many who say they’ve seen a mountain lion, Ecker has photographs to prove — or disprove — his case.
Third company looks to expand natural gas pipeline in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 29, 2014 

A third major energy company has made a specific proposal to the Maine Public Utilities Commission to expand natural gas pipeline capacity and ask the state’s electric customers to help pay for it. Houston-based Spectra Energy Corp. filed a plan Monday in which the state could contract to secure specific supplies of lower-cost natural gas on two proposed projects. Spectra’s filing follows a similar action two weeks ago by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, owners of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. An earlier proposal was submitted by the Portland Natural Gas Transmission System.
Third firm courts Maine regulators for cash to back natural gas pipeline expansion
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 29, 2014 

Three companies have formally offered natural gas pipeline capacity to state regulators, who are considering whether they should charge a new fee to all of Maine’s electricity customers to help pay for projects designed to bring more natural gas into the Northeast. On Monday, Houston-based Spectra Energy presented a plan for expanding existing pipelines spanning the Northeast, a shot back at the Houston-based Kinder Morgan, which delivered details of its proposal for a new pipeline to regulators last week. Days before Kinder Morgan sent its plan to the Maine Public Utilities Commission, Spectra had announced Northeast Utilities, the region’s largest electric utility, would be a co-investor in one of the two projects it delivered to Maine regulators Monday. The Portland Natural Gas Transmission System previously submitted a proposal to regulators.
Maine Candidates for Governor Spar Over Natural Gas Pipeline
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, September 29, 2014 

Republican Gov. Paul LePage is defending his support of legislation that would allow private businesses to use eminent domain to seize property for natural gas pipeline expansion. The governor says the legislation is necessary to alleviate what he calls the New England energy crisis. But the governor's two opponents oppose the move.
Cruise ship traffic, spending on the rise in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 29, 2014 

Cruise ship traffic and the economic impact it has in Maine continues to grow, according to an industry study released Monday. Tuesday, Sept. 30, is expected to be the busiest day for cruise ship traffic for Maine’s 2014 tourist season, which is on track to be the busiest ever, according to officials. According to the latest estimates, the companies and passengers spent more than $46.1 million in Maine last year, up by nearly $1 million from the year before.
Group Fails to Derail LePage Nominee for Efficiency Maine Trust Board
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, September 29, 2014 

An eleventh-hour effort by an environmental group to derail the governor's nominee to the board of trustees for the Efficiency Maine Trust failed today, after members of a legislative panel concluded there was no reason to oppose the nomination. The Natural Resources Council of Maine claimed that Brewer engineer and businessman Don Lewis should not serve on the board because of a conflict of interest. NRCM said that Lewis's involvement in a company that manufactures and sells high-efficiency equipment for industrial, commercial and residential customers could be a problem for the candidate.
Maine Governor Seeks Federal Intervention in Pipeline Dispute
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, September 29, 2014 

Electric bills are rising as New England prepares for the winter heating season, and Gov. Paul R. LePage is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission - or FERC - to address skyrocketing energy prices in the region. LePage blamed what he called liberal opposition in Massachusetts to a multi-state natural gas expansion pipeline as a factor in perpetuating the region's high energy costs and wants FERC to intervene.
3 Creditors Want GNP Bankruptcy Moved to Maine
Associated Press - Monday, September 29, 2014 

Three Maine-based creditors want to move the Great Northern Paper Co. bankruptcy case from Delaware to Maine. The creditors contend Maine's attorney general, the towns of East Millinocket and Millinocket and the employees' unions all support moving the federal bankruptcy proceedings to Maine. The creditors' petition seeks to stop a meeting of creditors that's scheduled for Oct. 15 in Delaware, where the holding company is based. Great Northern filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last week. All told, the company owes more than $50 million. Chapter 7 proceedings typically involve liquidation of a company to repay creditors. But some are holding out that the East Millinocket mill could continue operating as a paper mill.
Maine Salon Owners Press DEP for Answers on Phthalates
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, September 29, 2014 

Some salon owners in Maine say they want to know what's in some of the cosmetic products they use. They plan to deliver more than 400 letters today urging the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to require companies to report on whether any of four "phthalate" chemicals are in their products. Today is the last day the public can provide comment on the proposed phthalate rule. The state agency will have four months to make its final determination.
GNP creditors petition to move bankruptcy case to Maine, but trustee objects
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 29, 2014 

A group of Maine-based creditors has asked a Delaware court to move the bankruptcy case of Great Northern Paper Co. to Maine, where an attorney said 56 percent of the 1,159 creditors are located. But the Delaware trustee now handling the case plans to oppose that measure, arguing that he has administered bankruptcies from all over the country.
Climate of Deception
Other - Monday, September 29, 2014 

Since the days of electricity deregulation, the Federal Trade Commission has recognized greenwashing as a problem in the power sector, as companies inflate green energy claims to compete for customers who who care about the environment. Now, as the power sector is increasingly recognized as a major source of climate-warming greenhouse gases, overselling of environmental attributes of power generation has only intensified. Nowhere is this more true than in the biomass power sector, where wood-burning power plants are widely marketed as “clean” and “carbon neutral” — despite the fact that burning wood emits as much or more air pollution and greenhouse gases as fossil fuels, and offsetting bipopower carbon dioxide emissions, if it occurs at all, can require decades. Together, individual claims that biopower is environmentally beneficial combine to generate a climate of deception that colors consumer perceptions of this technology.
LePage: FERC Must Address New England’s Energy Crisis Now
Maine Government News - Monday, September 29, 2014 

“It is time to wake up. New England is in an energy crisis right now, and we desperately need additional natural gas to power our businesses and keep electric bills affordable for households,” said Governor LePage. “While prices are spiking, liberals in Massachusetts have opposed natural gas infrastructure, saying they need to study the issue more. This is unconscionable.” In LePage’s letter to the chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, he requests that FERC take immediate action to expand natural gas infrastructure in New England.
U.N. Climate Summit Pledges Global Commitment and Action
Living on Earth - Monday, September 29, 2014 

On September 23rd, over 125 heads of state, as well as officials, CEOs, and NGOs gathered at the United Nation’s Climate Summit to reaffirm their commitment to curtailing climate change and their global plans for action. Jennifer Morgan, Director of the Climate and Energy Program with the World Resources Institute, discusses the Summit’s outcomes.
The Wilderness Act Turns 50: Celebrating the Great Laws of 1964
Other - Monday, September 29, 2014 

1964 was a revolutionary year. It was a time when Congress actually addressed the people’s business, and it gave us at least three great laws. One was the monumental Civil Rights Act. The least known of the three was the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, which, by drawing on revenue from offshore oil and gas leases, provided the means for the federal and state purchase of all kinds ofrecreational and wild lands, from inner-city parks and playgrounds to habitat for grizzly bears and mountain lions. President Johnson signed that bill into law on September 3, 1964, 50 years ago this month, mere moments after the more famous ceremony that went with his signing of the Wilderness Act. ~ William DeBuys
Letter: Brown paper bag holds plenty of pluses
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 29, 2014 

Recently there has been a lot of flap about plastic bags used at our grocery stores and that there will be charges in the future for these bags in Portland. The push is for shoppers to use the reusable bags, but I think we should give that some more thought. The “reusable bags” should be renamed “biohazard containers.” How often and how thoroughly are are these bags cleaned? We could use a container that is biodegradable, multipurpose and an economic stimulus. It is the paper bag. Just imagine a Maine paper mill making paper bags. If you ask, your groceries will be packed in the “brown paper bag,” something you can feel good about on several levels. ~ H. David Cotta, China
Shrinking pipeline shipments deplete Maine’s oil cleanup fund
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 29, 2014 

The steep decline in crude oil shipments on the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line is having a collateral effect on a state fund that sets aside money to clean up petroleum spills on the water. The Surface Oil Clean-up Fund is used to respond to accidents on the coast and during land transportation, such as a rail or truck spill into a lake. The fund collects a 3-cent-per-barrel fee on both crude oil and refined products, such as gasoline. In the event of a spill, the state pursues the responsible parties to pay for cleanup and other expenses. The Portland-Montreal Pipe Line is the largest contributor to the fund.
Letter: Where was the coverage?
Sun Journal - Monday, September 29, 2014 

I am disappointed in the lack of coverage of the huge event recently in New York City and in 162 countries around the world with marches and demonstrations drawing attention to climate change. There were 2,646 events around the world. In New York City alone, the official count of participants was up to 400,000. Coming as it did, just days before the United Nations was set to discuss the problem of climate change, I cannot imagine why the Sun Journal neglected to give the march some first-class coverage. ~ Dolores Hoeh, Bethel
Maine cities, towns get coastal grants
Associated Press - Monday, September 29, 2014 

The Maine Coastal Program is providing the grants via an award from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Chebeague Island will receive $20,000 to assess a town-owned coastal parcel called Sunset Landing for future use. Richmond will get $7,200 to plan and design a pedestrian walkway to connect to its waterfront. Rockland will receive $15,000 to improve its public pier and $10,000 for planning technology improvements for Rockland Fish Pier.
Forest Service chief says journalists won’t have to pay to take photos in wilderness areas
Summit Voice - Monday, September 29, 2014 

After a few days of scathing news reports and commentaries, the U.S. Forest Service made it clear that a new policy on wilderness photography and filming won't apply to journalists or visitors taking snapshots for their own use. The clarification applies to the Caribou-Speckled Wilderness Area in the White Mountain National Forest in western Maine.
Portland pipeline business drying up
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 29, 2014 

The volume of crude oil transported from Maine to Canada on the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line fell by nearly 60 percent between 2010 and 2013, and the trend is accelerating this year. The rapid decline is tied to shifting market conditions in Canada that have put the operation of the pipeline and its South Portland marine terminal in jeopardy. The pipeline’s sole remaining refinery customer in Montreal is in the process of weaning itself from imported crude oil in favor of less-costly supplies in North America. The transition will be aided by work underway to reverse the flow of an oil pipeline that connects western Canada and Montreal through Ontario. The best bet for the future of the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line, said one petroleum consultant, is for its owners to reverse the flow to export Canadian crude through South Portland. A reversal has has been strongly opposed by environmental activists.
Shrinking pipeline shipments deplete Maine’s oil cleanup fund
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 29, 2014 

The steep decline in crude oil shipments on the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line is having a collateral effect on a state fund that sets aside money to clean up petroleum spills on the water. The Surface Oil Clean-up Fund is used to respond to accidents on the coast and during land transportation, such as a rail or truck spill into a lake. The fund collects a 3-cent-per-barrel fee on both crude oil and refined products, such as gasoline. In the event of a spill, the state pursues the responsible parties to pay for cleanup and other expenses. The Portland-Montreal Pipe Line is the largest contributor to the fund.
Businesses say bear-baiting ban would hurt economy
Morning Sentinel - Monday, September 29, 2014 

In 2004, a study paid for by pro-hunting forces said the state would lose $62 million annually without bear baiting, in which enticing food is put out for bears to lure them to a hunter. It said 770 full- and part-time jobs would be lost as well. But Cecil Gray, a Skowhegan master Maine Guide, said between the revenue outfitters take in from bait sites, to the revenue the state generates from tagging, the issue is being championed by people who profit from inappropriate and unethical hunting practices.
Scientists, fishermen see increase in dogfish
Associated Press - Monday, September 29, 2014 

The stability of the dogfish population off the coast of New England is not in jeopardy despite a recent survey that found fewer of the fish off Maine and New Hampshire than in previous years. The little sharks, which range from Labrador to Florida, are still abundant in New England’s waters, according to scientists and fishermen.
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

China Stumbles Into Future of Genetically Modified Food
By Zhang Hong - Despite health concerns authorities push GMO, without fully admitting what they are doing.
9/26/2014 11:00:00 PM

Move Over Bake Sales: The New School Fundraising Model Sells Local, Organic Groceries
By Alice Truong - Every Wednesday afternoon, Rebecca Matthews sets up on the picnic tables in front of Malcolm X Elementary School in Berkeley, California. She unloads bags of local, organic groceries – on this particular September day, about 90 in total – so parents can easily grab them while picking up their kids.
9/26/2014 11:00:00 PM

Mystery of Runaway Biotech Wheat Called Unsolvable as New Incident is Reported
By Mike Bruner - The discovery of rogue genetically modified wheat plants growing in an Oregon field last year was officially deemed an unsolved mystery by the U.S. Agriculture Department on Friday, even as it revealed that a similar incident in Montana is under investigation.
9/25/2014 11:00:00 PM

Companies Pursuing Non-GMO Products For Competitive Edge, Experts Say
By Connor Adams Sheets - Genetically modified organisms are either going to solve world hunger or kill off the human race, depending on who you ask. The words “Monsanto” or “GMO” engender strong reactions in people around the globe, as governments, scientists, advocates and consumers are finding themselves adopting strong stances either for or against the new technology.
9/25/2014 11:00:00 PM

Tuber Time: Potato Harvest Underway in Northern Maine
By Erica Stapleton - Aroostook County is one of the last areas in the country to close schools for the potato harvest. TV5 visited a farm to see how operations are running. Schools are on break and there are potatoes to dig up on Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater. “I believe that kids learn more in the 3 weeks of the potato harvest than in any three weeks they’ve got in a school year,” says farmer Jim Gerritsen. “There’s a lot if good lessons in the potato field.”
9/25/2014 11:00:00 PM

The Science is Still Out on GMO Moths
By Genna Reed - The USDA has made available for comment, the environmental assessment of the field trial of the genetically engineered diamondback moth, cooked up in a lab to supposedly protect cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and their kin from pesky invaders.
9/24/2014 11:00:00 PM

Invasive plant beats ‘weapons’ but not goats
By Tim Lucas - Phragmites australis, or the common reed, is a rapid colonizer that has overrun many coastal wetlands from New England to the Southeast. Land managers traditionally have used chemical herbicides to slow phragmites’ spread but with only limited and temporary success. Now, field experiments have identified a more sustainable, low-cost alternative: goats.
9/24/2014 11:00:00 PM

The truth about feeding 9 billion people is millions will have to feed themselves
By Gene Fifer - Forget the green revolution, Chad’s farmers will need help to just grow enough to eat, let alone supply the market.
9/24/2014 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

Cold, Flu, & Tissues
Got the sniffles? If you can’t use a handkerchief, buy tissue made with high recycled content. Seventh Generat...
9/30/2014 4:00:41 AM

My Maine This Week: Dave Small
“This guy glided across the trail only feet in front of me at Plymouth Bog, a Maine Wildlife Management ...
9/29/2014 11:26:43 AM

Testimony in Opposition to the Nomination of Mr. Donald Lewis to Serve on the Efficiency Maine Trust
by Pete Didisheim, NRCM Advocacy Director Senator Cleveland, Representative Hobbins, and members of the Joint ...
9/29/2014 9:29:37 AM

101 Ways to Cook a Turnip
When you’re trying to eat local in Maine but need a little inspiration, visit to sear...
9/29/2014 4:00:39 AM

We Need Limits on Carbon Pollution from Power Plants — Strong Ones — for Our Kids
by John Bernard, Special to the BDN Bangor Daily News op-ed On Sept. 21, hundreds of thousands of people march...
9/28/2014 7:51:03 AM

Cup of Joe to Go
Bring a reusable coffee cup with you when purchasing coffee at your local coffee shop. And show it off, so oth...
9/28/2014 4:00:43 AM

State Buys Land to Preserve Access to Warren Pond
by Stephen Betts, BDN Staff Bangor Daily News news story WARREN, Maine — Public access to a popular pond will ...
9/27/2014 7:56:58 AM

Take the Low Road
Install an ultra-low-flush toilet. About 40 percent of the water you use in your home gets flushed. To view mo...
9/27/2014 4:00:47 AM
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