March 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). We have posted summaries and links to 60,000 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
Why Going Native Matters, Mar 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Heather McCargo, found and executive director of Wild Seed Project, presents "Why Going Native Matters: Beauty, Biodiversity and Resilience." At Portland Public Library, March 27, 5:30 pm.
Urge Maine's Agencies to Investigate and Halt PFAS Contamination
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Highly persistent and toxic chemicals known as PFAS may be lurking undiscovered in farmlands across Maine. State records show that at an Arundel dairy farm, PFOS was in milk at the highest level ever reported anywhere. Urge Maine Ag and DEP commissioners to test the fields, stop sludge spreading, and phase out PFAS products. ~ Environmental Health Strategy Center
Retired Game Warden Randall Probert, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Author, raconteur, and retired game warden Randall Probert will speak to the Hebron Historical Society on “Maine Tales and More.” At Hebron Town Office, March 26, 7 pm.
The Forests of Lilliput: The Miniature World of Lichens & Mosses, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Maine Master Naturalist Jeff Pengel talks about the natural history of lichens, mosses and similar plants. At Topsham Library, March 26, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Celebrating Maine’s Wild Creatures, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Speaker: Ed Robinson, author of “Nature Notes from Maine: River Otters, Moose, Skunks and More.” At Curtis Library, March 16, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Ocean Acidification, Climate Change, and You, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Friends of Casco Bay staff scientist Mike Doan talks about warning signs and Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca shares the impacts to marine species and how Mainers are responding. At Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, March 25, 5:30 pm.
Mount Pisgah winter trek, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Kennebec Land Trust Stewardship Director Jean-Luc Theriault will lead an off-trail excursion on Mount Pisgah to visit special places that are typically less accessible. Meet at the Mount Pisgah Community Conservation Area parking lot in Winthrop, March 24, 1 pm.
Maine Maple Sunday, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Maine Maple Sunday is a long tradition where Maine’s maple producers open their doors to their sweet operations for a day of educational demonstrations, sugarbush tours, fun family activities and samplings of syrup and other great maple products. Many sugarhouses are open Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, and throughout the season.
Winter Family Fun Day at Lily Bay State Park, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Ice fishing, snowmobile tote rides, winter camping demo, bonfire, scavenger hunt and free loan of cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice skates, snow tubes and sleds. At Lily Bay State Park, Moosehead Lake, March 23, 10 am - 3 pm.
Winter wildlife tracking workshop, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Naturalists and certified wildlife trackers Brendan White and Matt Dickinson lead a winter wildlife tracking workshop. At at Long Ledges Preserve, Sullivan, March 23, 9-11:30 am. Sponsored by Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Maine Grass Farmers Network Conference, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Livestock producers are invited to learn about grass-based production and how grazing systems can become more profitable and environmentally sound. At Kennebec County Community College's Alfond Campus, Hinckley, March 23, 8:30 am - 3 pm.
Maine becomes a state, Mar 15
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

On this day in 1820, March 15, Massachusetts lost over 30,000 square miles of land as its former province of Maine gained statehood. Mainers had begun campaigning for statehood for years following the Revolution. The Massachusetts legislature finally consented in 1819. What no one foresaw, however, was that Maine's quest for statehood would become entangled in the most divisive issue in American history — slavery.
Maine Land Conservation Conference, Apr 5-6
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine’s robust land conservation community comes together to train on best practices in all aspects of land trust work, connect with peers, and grapple with the most pressing issues facing land conservation today. At Topsham area, April 5-6.
Thoreau Society & Thoreau Farm Trust online auction, thru Mar 29
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

This auction contains many rare books written about Henry David Thoreau and other items for every Thoreauvian.
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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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