March 19, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. 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
Growing More Crops in Less Space, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

Workshop leader Will Bonsai is director of the Scattered Project. He is best known for his work in preserving crop diversity. At St. Paul's Church, Brunswick, March 25, 2-3:30 pm, $5 donation. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation Ski-A-Thon, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation promotes year-round education and training for individuals with disabilities to develop skills, enhance independence, and provide enjoyment through active recreation. In addition to being an excellent fundraiser, the Ski-A-Thon is a ton of fun. Fundraising goal: $380,000.
Stand up for Federal Bird Conservation Funding
Action Alert - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

The proposed federal budget would gut major programs and protections for birds and their habitats. One-third of migratory bird species have already lost significant populations as threats to wildlife increase. Tell your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative to make protecting migratory birds a priority in the federal budget. ~ American Bird Conservancy
Earth Hour, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

Join millions of people around the world—along with businesses, cities, and landmarks—who will turn off lights in celebration of Earth Hour. March 24, from 8:30 - 9:30 am local time.
Solar Energy for ME, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Friday, March 16, 2018 

Dylan Voorhees, Climate & Clean Energy Director for the Natural Resource Council of Maine, and Rep. Seth Berry, House Chair of the Maine Legislature's Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, discuss expanding solar energy in Maine. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 23, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Resist Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as Secretary of State
Action Alert - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

Trump just fired Rex Tillerson, one of the few people left in his cabinet who was willing to speak out against Vladimir Putin. But even more egregious is that Trump nominated Mike Pompeo, a xenophobic, pro-torture, climate-denying war hawk, to replace Tillerson.
Protect Maine from EPA budget cuts
Action Alert - Monday, March 12, 2018 

There have been more than 90 of harmful amendments proposed that undermine federal safeguards to everything we rely on the EPA to protect: our air, water, climate, and wildlife.
Ask Congress to Oppose Anti-wolf Riders
Action Alert - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Congress will likely vote in the next two weeks on a 2018 spending bill for the Department of Interior. Because that legislation is likely to be broadly supported, anti-wolf legislators are using it as a vehicle to try to pass their otherwise unpopular attacks on wildlife. Email your senator or representative and ask that they persuade Leadership to strip these "riders" prior to the bill being voted on. ~ Endangered Species Coalition
What’s a woodlot and what do I do if I have one? Mar 19
Event - Posted - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Morten Moesswilde, District Forester with the Maine Forest Service, will talk about the most common considerations for landowners with 2 to 200 acres. At Belfast Library, March 19, 6 pm.
Powering Change: Saving Our Environment—and Saving Money, Mar 19
Event - Posted - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Panelists: Sophie Janeway, Climate and Clean Energy Outreach Coordinator, Natural Resources Council of Maine; Gary Friedmann, President, A Climate to Thrive; and Martha Dickinson, Ellsworth Green Plan Steering Committee. At Moore Community Centre, Ellsworth, March 19, 7 pm. Hosted by Ellsworth Garden Club.
Baxter State Park Visiting Artist
Announcement - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Visiting Artists are asked to hold one evening program and one open studio with the public during their stay, and within one year to provide the Park with professional quality images, prints, or documents representative of their style and resulting from their experience. Dates: August 11-24, 2018. Applications due by April 20.
Help wanted: Baxter State Park Director
Announcement - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

The Baxter State Park Authority seeks an active, experienced individual to serve as the Director.
Winter Family Fun Day, March 17 CANCELLED
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Ice fishing demo, wildlife exhibit, snowmobile tote rides, winter camping demo, build a bird house, enjoy a bonfire-scavenger hunt, door prizes, & more. At Lily Bay State Park, March 17, 10 am - 3 pm.
Western Maine Fly Fishing Expo, Mar 17
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Theme: Women In Fly Fishing featuring panel discussions with prominent women in the fly fishing industry. At Gould Academy, Bethel, March 17, adults $5; kids under 16 free.
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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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