September 24, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

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 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
Take action to protect clean water
Action Alert - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The EPA under Trump just proposed rescinding the Clean Water Rule, threatening the health of our lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands in Maine. Tell the EPA and Maine Congressional delegation that Mainers support this rule for the health of our neighbors, our waters, and our economy. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Stop Trump's Assault On Drinking Water
Action Alert - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The groundbreaking Clean Water Rule was adopted two years ago to help protect crucial waterways, including streams that feed the drinking water sources of more than 117 million Americans, habitat for wildlife and places where we fish, kayak, and swim with our families. But in its latest anti-environment assault, the Trump administration is irresponsibly attempting to repeal the Clean Water Rule. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council
Reject Trump’s anti-science pick to head NASA
Action Alert - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Petition to the Senate: NASA must remain an independent scientific agency, and its critical Earth science missions must continue. Reject Trump's appointment of anti-science ideologue Rep. Jim Bridenstine for NASA head and insist on a scientist or another qualified individual for the position. ~ CREDO Action
ecomaine Recycling Open House, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Join ecomaine for tours, free breakfast, free electronic waste collection, fun activities for the kids and more. At 62 Blueberry Road, Portland, September 30, 8-11 am.
Midcoast Maine Tour de Farms, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The Midcoast Maine Tour de Farms offers rides cycling tours of 56 and 42 miles through Wiscasset, Dresden and Whitefield, as well as a 17-mile family ride, through the scenic farmland, with stops at local farms, orchards, and creameries. September 30. Sponsored by Morris Farm Trust.
National Parks Free Entrance, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. September 30.
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, Sep 29-Oct 1
Event - Posted - Friday, September 22, 2017 

The Great Maine Outdoor Weekend is a series of events led by outdoor oriented organizations and companies to celebrate the how, where, and what of being active outside in Maine. September 29 – October 1, 2017
Maine Outdoor Film Festival, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Friday, September 22, 2017 

At Camden Snow Bowl, September 29, 7:30 pm, free, suggested $3-5 donation for Teens To Trails.
Sustainability Success through Community Conservation, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Anthony Charles, School of the Environment and School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, will discuss how communities are acting as stewards of their local environments and resources, undertaking conservation initiatives that help secure local livelihoods, and contribute to larger-scale environmental improvement. At UMaine, Orono, September 29, 11 am.
MDF Champion for Economic Development Awards, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

At its annual meeting, Maine Development Foundation will present Champion for Economic Development Awards to several recipients, including Robbins Lumber. At Cross Insurance Center, Bangor, September 28.
Natural Gas: Powering Maine’s Future, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

Keynote speaker: Governor Paul LePage. Lunchtime speaker: Summit Utilities President Kurt Adams. Panel discussions on commercial and industrial usage, natural gas as a transportation fuel, and natural gas in power generation. At The Woodlands in Falmouth, September 28, $179.
State of Working Maine 2017
Publication - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

The "State of Working Maine 2017," published by the Maine Center for Economic Policy, presents a comprehensive analysis of the economic, demographic, and workforce trends that impact the quality and quantity of jobs in Maine.
Alan Hutchinson memorial celebration, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Monday, September 18, 2017 

A celebration to pay tribute to the memory of the late Alan Hutchinson, executive director of the Forest Society of Maine. At Portland Country Club, Falmouth, September 28, 4:30-6:30 pm. RSVP.
BDN Poll: Should Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument be open to logging?
Action Alert - Monday, September 18, 2017 

Do you think the Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument should be opened for commercial forestry use?
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News Items
Endorsement Questionnaires
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, May 31, 2014 

Before interest groups make endorsements in a political race, they often send questionnaires for candidates to fill out. The questionnaires are meant to give the organization a foundation on which to decide which candidate best supports its mission and values. Eliot Cutler, independent candidate for governor, believes the questionnaires provide value to the public as well. Last week, the Cutler campaign announced that it would post all of its answers to questionnaires on its campaign website. So far, the campaign has posted answers from the Sierra Club, Maine Conservation Voters and others.
Maine’s expensive secret: illegal dumping
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, May 31, 2014 

Using lightly traveled country roads as a dump for unwanted household items that can’t be tossed into the rubbish barrel isn’t exactly new, but Ranger Matt Gomes of the Maine Warden Service said he’s getting more complaints about it. When someone dumps trash in the woods or alongside a road, it creates costs for land conservation groups, snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle clubs, and state and local public works and forestry agencies. Much of the responsibility for protecting Maine’s wilderness, though, falls on a shrinking cadre of forest rangers.
The Net Benefits of Low and No-Carbon Electricity Technologies
Other - Saturday, May 31, 2014 

This paper from the Brookings Institution examines five low and no-carbon electricity technologies and presents the net benefits of each under a range of assumptions. It estimates the costs per megawatt per year for wind, solar, hydroelectric, nuclear, and gas combined cycle electricity plants. Key findings: First, assuming reductions in carbon emissions are valued at $50 per metric ton and the price of natural gas is $16 per million Btu or less—nuclear, hydro, and natural gas combined cycle have far more net benefits than either wind or solar. Second, low and no-carbon energy projects are most effective in avoiding emissions if a price for carbon is levied on fossil fuel energy suppliers. Third, direct regulation of carbon dioxide emissions of new and existing coal-fired plants, as proposed by the EPA, can have some of the same effects as a carbon price in reducing coal plant emissions. However, a price levied on carbon dioxide emissions is likely to be a less costly way to achieve a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Train, tanker truck collide at Bucksport mill
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 31, 2014 

An unidentified truck driver will likely not face charges after his tanker collided with a slow-moving freight train at the Verso Paper Corp. mill, officials said Sunday. The driver, whom police declined to identify, was traveling on private property, where motor vehicle laws are not typically enforceable, when his truck crossed the tracks in front of the train at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Maine offers free fishing this weekend
Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014 

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says anyone can fish on Maine’s waterways without a license on Saturday and Sunday. Free fishing is allowed for everyone except people whose license has been revoked or suspended. The department says this weekend is a good time to introduce children to fishing. It says that thousands of residents and out-of-state visitors every year travel to Maine’s nearly 6,000 lakes and ponds and 32,000 miles of rivers and streams to enjoy the activity.
Obama’s boldest move on carbon comes with perils
Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014 

The new pollution rule the Obama administration announces Monday will be a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy and arguably the most significant U.S. environmental regulation in decades. But it’s not one the White House wanted. As with other issues, the regulation to limit the pollution blamed for global warming from power plants is a compromise for Obama, who again finds himself caught between his aspirations and what is politically and legally possible. It will provoke a messy and drawn-out fight with states and companies that produce electricity, and may not be settled until the eve of the next presidential election in 2016, or beyond.
UNE seal rescue facility closes, says animals no longer endangered
York County Coast Star - Saturday, May 31, 2014 

Rescuing seals and other marine animals will be harder now that the University of New England’s Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation program has closed, local rescue organizations said this week, but it will not stop them from trying.
FDA updates advice on mercury content
Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014 

The Food and Drug Administration is updating its advice for pregnant women on the appropriate levels of mercury in seafood. But Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said Friday that it won’t require mercury labels on seafood packages. For most people, accumulating mercury from eating seafood isn’t a health risk. But for a decade, the FDA has warned that pregnant women, those who may become pregnant, and young children should avoid certain types of high-mercury fish because of concern that too much could harm a developing brain.
Letter: Grin and bear it
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 31, 2014 

If the anti-bear hunting referendum passes, there will be a population explosion of bears in Maine. Since the food source for bears is limited, bears will seek food in homes. They will harass and possibly consume pet cats and dogs. They will cause damage. These bears will need to be trapped and relocated. I suggest that a list be made based on the percentage of voters in each district who vote to restrict bear hunting. I suggest that the rogue bears be relocated according to this list. ~ Charles Rappaport, Kingfield
Rate of extinction alarms researchers
Associated Press - Friday, May 30, 2014 

Species of plants and animals are becoming extinct at least 1,000 times faster than they did before humans arrived on the scene, and the world is on the brink of a sixth great extinction, a new study says. The work, published Thursday by the journal Science, was hailed as a landmark study by outside experts.
Plover Protections Ruffle Feathers in Northeast
Wall Street Journal - Friday, May 30, 2014 

The ruckus began last July after an unleashed dog frolicking on a beach in Scarborough, Maine, killed a young bird. The unlucky chick was a federally protected piping plover, and its death set off a chorus of squawking from all sides. Southern Maine isn't the only place getting ruffled over regulations to safeguard plovers — small, fragile, sandy-hued shorebirds that breed in the Great Lakes, Northern Great Plains and along the Atlantic Coast, where they were designated as threatened in 1986 after their numbers had plummeted. Plover disputes have roiled communities from New York's Long Island to North Carolina for years.
Elver season falls short of statewide quota
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 30, 2014 

The 2014 elver fishing season is expected to come to a close Saturday, without the statewide catch quota being reached, according to state officials. Jeff Nichols, spokesman for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, said as it looked as though Maine fishermen had caught about 9,300 pounds — or 85 percent — of the statewide quota of 11,749 pounds as of Friday morning. That limit was adopted last winter by the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission out of concern Maine’s elver fishery was having an adverse effect on the East Coast population of American eels.
Obama Administration Set To Announce New Climate Protection Rule
Climate Progress - Friday, May 30, 2014 

On Monday, the Obama Administration will announce another step to reduce carbon pollution and address our climate crisis. New EPA standards will cut carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants — the single largest source of the country’s climate emissions. The rule, which stems from a 2007 Supreme Court decision saying that the EPA has the authority to limit climate pollution under the Clean Air Act, will protect public health from more air pollution, allergies, and tropical diseases. As the New York Times put it, this is “the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change.” Needless to say, big polluters aren’t happy, and have already launched an aggressive misinformation campaign to block any action.
Remarkable landowner relations study and recommendations ignored for last 11 years
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, May 30, 2014 

In 2002, responding to a flood of complaints from private landowners about ATV riders, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine conducted a nationwide study of landowner relations issues and solutions, and issued a report and recommendations in 2003. Despite the advocacy of many groups and individuals, those recommendations were never implemented. Sadly, 11 years after this report was issued in 2003, nothing has changed. Nor do we have an effective landowner relations program that can sustain our privilege of access to private land.
Bassmaster, Professional Anglers Association fishing expert coming to Bangor
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 30, 2014 

Full-time professional angler on the Bassmaster tour and Professional Anglers Association tour, Mike DelVisco, will visit the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Bangor Saturday at noon to share fishing tips, answer questions and sign autographs.
Opinion: Utility regulators must lead Maine into the future, not follow CMP into the past
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 30, 2014 

Renewable energy and energy efficiency are, at last, making inroads large enough to cut into national emissions of the greenhouse gases that are causing more destructive climate change. These clean and affordable energy resources are bolstering local and state economies, creating high-tech jobs and making us more energy independent. However, powerful entities with deep dependence on the economic status quo are fighting hard to reverse and retard this vital progress. ~ Scott Denman
Opinion: Regulate rockweed: How Maine’s rocky coast is being stripped bare
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 30, 2014 

Over the past few years, demand for seaweed has grown — for fertilizer, health products and additives to processed foods. As a small place filled with independent-minded people, and little regulatory resources, Maine has become vulnerable to larger interests. Foreign corporations have come to the area because they have exhausted their own supply or have been regulated against by their own governments. What we have here is another classic example of unrestricted harvest, with no interest in sustainability or the local community. Will we ever learn? ~ Peter Neil of Sedgwick, World Ocean Observatory
Column: Great blue herons are disappearing from Maine’s coast and nobody knows why
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 30, 2014 

A decade ago, biologists became alarmed that the number of great blue herons nesting along the Maine coast was crashing. Two-thirds of the herons were gone. I have just finished five days of birding in the Cobscook Bay area and I never saw a single heron. Not one. A big decline often has serious implications for humans. ~ Bob Duchesne
Energy Users Best the Cronies
Other - Friday, May 30, 2014 

MasterResource (free-market energy blog) - After Enron’s epic fail their wind business was scooped up by General Electric. GE’s power generation unit saw great opportunity in the growing alarm over global warming. GE’s business is generators. As board members of the American Wind Energy Association they have been at the vanguard of promoting and protecting renewable energy mandates. But even better for GE is the fact that wind turbines last 20 years at best. Thus, over the 60 year life of a typical coal plant, ratepayers are compelled to buy 1,000 MW of GE wind turbines and replace them at least two more times. Thus, through the magic of EPA regulation, coupled with support from willing accomplices like Sierra Club and furthered by state renewable energy mandates, corporate giant GE has struck a largely tax free green bonanza.
Letter: Park it
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 30, 2014 

I understand how some people in the Millinocket area may feel about a national park. But planning for the area needs to deal with its strengths. Paper mills are gradually going away, and that resource — wood fiber — may now be limited to pellets, etc. The people around Acadia National Park certainly value their economic benefits from the park. If someone goes to national parks in other places, you will find the people near the park value it in the same way. They wouldn’t dream of giving up their parks there. Consider the benefits of a national park in your area. ~ Dick Brooks, Phillips
Letter: Smart meters
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 30, 2014 

Rate hikes and so called “smart meters.” What next, a Central Maine Power electronic/radioactive monitor in my kitchen? Well, that’s pretty much what “smart meters” are. CMP has compromised our health and our wallets for years. CMP’s CEOs refuse to begin underground wiring, saying it’s not cost effective. If they did a little each year, the massively overpaid executives could still reap their annual overpayments and eventually get the job done. Enough insanity. Even a modicum of common sense would be so refreshing. ~ Donna Milbourne, Sanford
Letter: Let's join Maine students seeking action on climate
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 30, 2014 

I serve as staff adviser to Scarborough High’s environmental club. Our students receive one year of environmental science, including climate science. NASA’s data has been so compelling and alarming that some students have then asked why climate isn’t all over social media, why it isn’t the center of families’ dinner discussions and why our leaders aren’t rushing to action. It’s their Earth, and we’ve unknowingly left it in severe jeopardy. ~ Terri Eddy, Scarborough
Letter: Why are crows singled out as pests?
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 30, 2014 

If we follow the logic of the IF&W, we should have an open season on sea gulls because they might rob the nests of the piping plover, an endangered species that nests on local beaches. Because the humble crow has been labeled as “vermin” and a “nuisance,” they are vulnerable. Crows are stereotyped as less desirable than other birds, such as blue jays and robins, but they perform a valuable service as scavengers of carrion. With nobody to fight for them, crows are shot every year. The “lucky” crows are killed instantly; the “unlucky” crows are wounded and suffer before they die during this annual target practice. ~ Vae Philbrick, Scarborough
US wind 'shakeout' looms: execs
Other - Thursday, May 29, 2014 

Many wind power developers were forced to rush their projects last year to meet the Production Tax Credit requirements before it was allowed to expire at the end of 2013. In some cases the power purchase agreements they signed are at prices that may prove economically unviable. Many developers baked unrealistic expectations about how much turbine prices will come down into their projects.
Michaud on East-West Corridor: “No single thing…will provide more economic benefit to the Second District”
Maine Wire - Thursday, May 29, 2014 

In 2002, U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud strongly supported the construction of a publicly financed East-West highway through northern Maine in an economic development plan published during his first congressional race. The East-West corridor — a proposed 220-mile highway stretching from Calais to Bethel and beyond — never moved past the talking stage at the federal level, but has recently resurfaced as privately funded project backed by Cianbro Corp. and its CEO Peter Vigue. As a candidate for governor, Michaud has told Maine Conservation Voters: “I oppose the proposed East-West Highway, but have long advocated for an East-West rail system to help transport goods from the port of Eastport to the rest of the country and around the globe.” That statement would seem contrary to Michaud’s strong support for the construction of a “road” and “roadway.”
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