September 21, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 news articles and announcements. We 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 our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Stand with Hunter in opposing Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court
Action Alert - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Hunter Lachance, a 15-year-old Mainer with asthma, testified against the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. He explained why Kavanaugh’s opposition to curbing air pollution that crosses state lines would harm Maine and people like him. Urge Senator Collins to vote “no” on Brett Kavanaugh. ~ Kristin Jackson, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Evening for the Environment, Oct 3
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A night of camaraderie, celebration, and inspiration for those who care about protecting Maine's environment. Keynote speaker Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator. At Brick South on Thompson's Point, Portland, October 3, 5:30-8:00 pm. Organized by Maine Conservation Voters.
Solar 101, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy to learn about the benefits of solar technology. At Scarborough Public Library, September 26, 2018 6:30 pm.
Activist Training for Maine's Environment, Sep 27-Oct 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Maine's environmental community is hosting a series of trainings. Learn skills to be a powerful activist and meet fellow environmentalists who want to make a difference in Maine. September 27, Biddeford; October 4: Auburn; October 11, Jefferson; October 18, Falmouth.
Naturalist's Notebook, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Bowdoin biology professor Nat Wheelwright will speak about the book he wrote with Bernd Heinrich, "The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You." At Portland Public Library, September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Weasels of Maine, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Shevenell Webb, Wildlife Biologist with IF&W, talks about weasel ecology and natural history. At Augusta Nature Club luncheon, at Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta, September 26, 11:30 am, $7 for lunch.
NRCM online auction, thru Sep
Announcement - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Online auction benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine, through September.
Help wanted: Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is seeking applications for the position of Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications. The position provides leadership in advancing NRCM and the organization’s advocacy work through the news media. Deadline: October 11, 2018.
MCV Action Fund 2018 Endorsements
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A list of candidates endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund.
Bringing an ocean perspective to an urban estuary, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Karina Nielsen, director of San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center, will speak at the UMaine Darling Marine Center, Walpole, September 24, 12:15 pm.
Maine's Beaches are Public Property, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Author and law professor Orlando E. Delogu speaks about public access to Maine’s beaches. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, September 24, 6:30 pm.
Why Natural History Matters, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Tom Fleischner, Executive Director of the Natural History Institute, will describe how the practice of natural history provides the foundation for the natural sciences, conservation, healthy society, and our own well-being. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, September 24, 7 pm, Maine Audubon members $12, nonmembers $15.
Save our Shores Walk, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Learn how climate change may affect our shores and how CLF is working to ensure a resiliant Maine coast. At Ferry Beach, Saco, September 23, 2:30-5 pm. Sponsored by Conservation Law Foundation.
Help restore cottontail habitat, Sep 22, 28, 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge will host a volunteer work day to help restore native scrubland habitat, home to many species including the New England cottontail rabbit. Volunteers needed. At Libby Field, Scarborough, Sep 22, 28, 29, 9 am - 2 pm.
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News Items
Maine shelves proposed rule on formaldehyde…for now
Other - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Compliance and Risks - The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has updated its website to indicate that its proposed rule, chapter 885, to designate formaldehyde as a Priority Chemical and regulate it in children’s products will not be adopted. However, in an email to Compliance & Risks, the DEP confirmed, while proposed rule chapter 885 will not be adopted, formaldehyde may still be regulated in Maine, depending upon the results of a National Academy of Sciences review of the National Toxicology Program’s report on formaldehyde.
Maintaining the Momentum
Biomass magazine - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

The challenge the Northeast pellet industry faces as the snow finally melts and folks cease talking about the cold winter and strong demand for pellets is now “How do we keep the momentum going?” One challenge has been our governor’s legislative proposal to take funds from the projected expansion of the timber harvest on Maine’s public lands and apply these funds to the Efficiency Maine incentive program. This is essentially our association’s legislation from last year, which had been sidetracked by environmentalist objections to the funding source.
State of polarization: Is it almost over?
Portland Phoenix - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Of the state Environmental Priorities Coalition’s top six goals for 2014, at least four saw favorable outcomes during the legislative session. But Glen Brand, executive director of the Sierra Club’s Maine chapter, chose something else to highlight. “The most important thing from an environmental perspective is that this is almost certainly Governor’s LePage’s last legislative session,” he said, voicing what may just be wishful thinking. “I say that because the LePage administration has been the worst administration on the environment in the modern history of Maine, bar none.”
LePage vetoes wind info bill
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Under the authority vested in me...I am hereby vetoing LD 1750, “An Act To Establish Submission Requirements for Wind Energy through Rulemaking.” The legislation circuitously attempts to restrict the ability of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from requesting additional information from wind developers for proposed projects. Apparently, the Legislature does not believe it would be helpful to understand how a wind project would help reduce energy prices, provide part-time as well as full-time jobs and have potentially detrimental environmental effects. I disagree.... ~ Paul R. LePage, Governor
LePage vetoes lakes protection bill
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday vetoed a lakes protection bill that would have banned the use of fertilizer 25 feet or closer to a lake, and at least one lakes region legislator said he didn’t think the bill went far enough. The bill, L.D. 1744, which received overwhelming legislative support, would have strengthened the Department of Environmental Protection’s lake protection program and reduced fertilizer application near lakes by creating a 25-foot setback. “Protecting clean lakes is not a partisan issue,” Pete Didisheim, advocacy director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. LePage said Wednesday that the bill is too restrictive and would burden the DEP.
Democrats say new LePage veto puts lakes at serious risk
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Gov. Paul LePage said in his veto letter for LD 1744, An Act to Protect Maine Lakes, that the bill has “a number of major flaws,” including a provision that bans the use of fertilizers within 25 feet of a great pond. LePage targeted Assistant House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, in the veto letter, calling McCabe “among the most vocal critics of the DEP. Perhaps he feels that DEP staff should volunteer their free time on evenings and weekends in order to carry out his whims?” McCabe has long argued that drainage of fertilizers into Maine lakes causes algae blooms.
Column: Where the lakes are concerned, the enemy is us
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Maine’s lakes generate an estimated $3.5 billion of economic activity and 50,000 jobs a year, according to the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance. Milfoil is an easy bad guy. It’s the devil we see. The devils we don’t see, however, are what will kill our lakes. Runoff from roads, from septic systems, from yard care, wood harvesting and farming pour into the Belgrade region watershed and are slowly deteriorating the lakes. ~ Maureen Milliken
Schoodic Institute names Downeast Lakes Land Trust director Berry for leadership post
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Mark Berry, executive director of the Downeast Lakes Land Trust, will be leaving the trust to become president and CEO of the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, the two organizations announced Wednesday. Berry, who lives in Princeton and has led the trust for eight years, will begin his new duties June 6. The Schoodic Institute in Winter Harbor supports the Schoodic Education and Research Center of Acadia National Park.
Report: Bangor’s air among nation’s cleanest, but unhealthy pollution lingers in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Bangor ranks as one of the cleanest cities for air quality in the country, but southern Maine residents are breathing in unhealthy levels of pollution, according to a new report released Wednesday. Air quality has improved statewide, but unevenly from region to region, the American Lung Association’s 15th annual “State of the Air” report found.
Counties to get federal development funds
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

The Kennebec Valley Council of Governments will receive $70,000 to support economic development in Kennebec, Somerset and Waldo counties. The grant is one of four that total $280,000 from the Economic Development Administration. The money is designed to support the development and implementation of comprehensive economic development strategies. The other groups that also received $70,000 are the Northern Maine Development Corp., the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments and Eastern Maine Development Corp.
CSX train carrying oil derails in Virginia in fiery blast
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

A CSX Corp. train carrying crude oil derailed and burst into flames in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia, on Wednesday, spilling oil into the James River and forcing hundreds to evacuate. Several trains carrying crude have derailed over the past year. Last July, a runaway Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, derailed and exploded, killing 47 people. In January, a CSX train carrying crude oil derailed in Philadelphia, nearly toppling over a bridge.
Maine passes law to study ocean acidification
Associated Press - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

A law passed by the Maine Legislature will establish a commission to study and address the negative effects of ocean acidification on ecosystems and shellfisheries. Supporters of the law called it the first of its kind on the East Coast. It took effect Wednesday. State Rep. Mick Devin, who sponsored the bill, says the group will look for ways to protect the state’s marine resources and economy. Supporters of the law say the ocean acidity levels have increased by 30 percent over the past two centuries. They fear acidification could cause losses to Maine’s shellfish industry if left unchecked. LD 1602 became law without the signature of Gov. Paul LePage.
Column: Spring Winds
Free Press - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Wind does something to us. To some it brings exhilaration, to others, unease. Blame it on the shape of the Earth. Wind is the result of a globe that spins. The sun blankets the Earth with its energetic rays, but each part of the planet doesn't receive the same amount of energy. Another factor that influences the strength of the winds, particularly here along the coast, is the presence of high- or low-pressure cells. My neighbors don't care about high-pressure cells and the equatorial winds. They careen down the street, careless of passing cars, their shrieking children trailing behind, kites bouncing off roofs and parked trucks, happy to be outdoors, in the wind, in spring. ~ Melissa Waterman
The language of frogs — it’s more than just ‘ribbit’
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Maine is home to nine species of frogs, and each has its own song. Recently, a handful of Mainers have been learning these amphibian calls on their path to become the state’s first volunteer frog monitors for Frogwatch USA. This spring and summer, they will seek frogs and toads in local wetlands, and they will do it by ear. For them, “ribbit” just became a whole lot more complicated. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer frog monitor, there are three upcoming training sessions in Maine.
Maine Department of Environmental Protection Announces Food Scrap Recovery Program and Trainings
Maine Government News - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

In May and June, the Maine DEP will be co-hosting eight workshops across the state to help encourage the beneficial reuse of organic materials rather than sending them to a landfill. Forty percent of Maine's municipal solid waste is organics and could be diverted from a landfill and beneficially reused.
Opinion: National Parks: Ecology and Economy
New York Times - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

[Ed: This was one of the Top 10 winners of a Student Editorial Contest] In Northern Maine, Roxanne Quimby and her son want to turn approximately 75,000 acres of Maine wilderness into what would be known as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Park. Since the days of Theodore Roosevelt, national parks have been essential to American wildlife conservation. National parks benefit humans as well. They attract tourists, and tourism is excellent for local economies. The presence of national parks — and tourists — creates more jobs. Yet many people remain adamantly opposed to the creation of national parks. From both an ecological and an economic standpoint, national parks are advantageous to all species, including humans. Not only should Quimby’s dream of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Park come true, but the creation of other national parks should be encouraged whenever possible. ~ Matty H.
Members of the LePage Administration to Visit Twin Rivers Paper Company Thursday
Maine Government News - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Several members of the LePage Administration will visit with officials and employees at Twin Rivers Paper Company in Madawaska on Thursday, May 1. Twin Rivers is Aroostook County's second largest private employer with more than 500 workers. Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais, Department of Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walter Whitcomb, and Senior Forest Products Advisor Rosaire Pelletier will tour the facility and meet with Twin Rivers CEO Timothy Lowe and other company officials.
Mark Berry named president of Schoodic Institute
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Mark Berry, Executive Director of the Downeast Lakes Land Trust, has been appointed President of the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park.
Client towns sue PERC over $750,000 lobbying bill
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

According to court documents, USA Energy Group of Minneapolis, Minn., is trying to get towns to help pay $750,000 in legal and consulting bills that stem from a legislative lobbying effort in Maine that the towns oppose. The Municipal Review Committee, the Ellsworth-based entity that represents 187 towns in their arrangement with Penobscot Energy Recovery Co., claims in the complaint that under a partnership agreement it has with the Minnesota company, the committee has a legal right to approve or deny how partnership funds are spent. The committee says it made it clear that it was opposed to the firm’s active support and promotion of a bill submitted to the Legislature, LD 1483. It also claims it received assurances from the Minnesota firm that partnership funds would not be used to pay for the lobbying effort.
Column: Oh, say I can see by solar-powered light
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

State Sen. Eloise Vitelli introduced the Maine Solar Energy Act in December after reviewing other energy legislation and noticing that wind power, for one, was getting far more attention than solar. “It looked to me as if solar could use a boost,” Vitelli said in an interview on Tuesday. In addition to assigning the Public Utilities Commission to report back to lawmakers by January on “the value of distributed solar energy generation” in Maine, Vitelli’s bill sets minimum solar-generation goals of 40 megawatts by 2016, 200 megawatts by 2020 and 500 megawatts by 2030. Last week, while Gov. Paul LePage allowed the Maine Solar Energy Act to become law without his signature. ~ Bill Nemitz
Letter: Pay-as-you-throw, recycling is way Waterville should go
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Not only will a pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) system for trash disposal save Waterville about $355,000 in the first year, it will pay for single-sort curbside recycling pickup. We will be able to put all recyclables in one bin on the curb next to our trash, which will greatly increase Waterville’s recycling rate. I am more than willing to pay $2 per bag to see this adopted. I urge the City Council to pass pay-per-bag and single-sort curbside recycling. It’s the right thing to do. ~ Todd Martin, Waterville
Letter: Will ‘people parks’ follow all the dog controversy?
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

After reading for months about the controversy over dogs on Scarborough’s beaches, then reading the article about the dogs in Baxter Woods, it seems Greater Portland is going to the dogs. What’s next, “people parks,” where people can walk without dogs? If Scarborough has to pay a fine for not protecting the plovers, I think the dog owners should pay. ~ Bruce Lind, Scarborough
Letter: Urge councilors to support Bicentennial Nature Park
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

It’s that time of year when the Augusta City Council grapples with the daunting task of shoehorning budget needs into income projections. Last year, Bicentennial Nature Park survived the budget squeeze and was reopened, thanks to the Herculean efforts of many. This year, another rallying of the troops is needed to ensure that the City Council recognizes the ongoing strength of residents’ sentiment for maintaining the park. ~ Bob Dodge, Augusta
Letter: Support programs for healthy lakes
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 

Lakes are a critical element of the Maine lifestyle, which is the envy of the East Coast. There are few places anywhere that an ordinary person has so much access to high quality outdoor recreation. As tourist destinations, lakes give a boost to many businesses. Bills and appropriations enacted in this year’s legislative session help sustain and preserve the quality of our lakes. However, more needs to be done in terms of both financing and operations at the state level. ~ Frank Richards, Webber Pond Lake Association, Vassalboro
Column: Walls that emulate nature
New Maine Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 

Passivhaus is a new and different building system. For the first time in the history of construction, it introduces information technology as an integral part of the design-build process, not just as a design tool, but also as a tool of modeling and optimizing any building for not just first cost but also for lasting energy efficiency and overall performance. ~ Paul Kando
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