September 25, 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.
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.
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.
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
Developers preparing permitting application for massive Fairfield solar project
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

Plans for what could become the largest solar farm in the state are progressing, as the group developing the array plans to submit environmental permitting applications in the fall. The proposed 20-megawatt array would be on 120 acres of privately owned land on U.S. Route 201, about a mile south of the Sappi plant in Skowhegan, according to NextEra Energy Resources, the company developing the array.
Somerset County commissioners issue resolution opposing new wind turbines
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

Somerset County commissioners on Wednesday issued a resolution strongly opposing additional wind turbines in the county, as state and federal officials make ready for a CMP public meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday in Bingham on its plans for a wide power transmission corridor through and across tourist destinations. The letter and accompanying resolution — both supported 5-0 — cite the dangers of 500-plus-foot wind turbines and the associated transmission lines they say will forever spoil the “world class beauty” of the region.
Maine center to study impact of climate change on cod, sole
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

The federal government is giving a Maine science center more than $1 million to investigate the impacts of climate change on important commercial fish species such as cod and sole. Gulf of Maine Research Institute says it’s getting $1.1 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
LePage can’t lower energy prices by himself, but that won’t stop him from trying
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

Freshly minted Gov. Paul LePage gave his renamed Governor’s Energy Office a clear goal in 2011: lower power costs. A new Republican majority helped embed the mantra in other areas of state law, too. LePage signed bills adding it to job descriptions for Maine’s utilities regulators and the state’s advocate for utility customers. In his first State of the State address, he decried high power costs as a major drag on Maine’s economy. Six years later, Maine's energy prices have climbed and are still — alongside the rest of New England — among the nation’s highest.
Major energy legislation of Gov. Paul LePage’s tenure
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

The Omnibus Energy Bill of 2013 was the most sweeping single piece of energy legislation so far in Gov. Paul LePage’s tenure, but lawmakers have passed a range of other bills to change the course of Maine’s energy policy in that time. Here is a summary of some major pieces of energy legislation, from the 125th to 128th legislatures, that became public laws.
DEP gives preliminary approval to relocation of Maine Turnpike’s York toll plaza
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

A state environmental agency has issued preliminary approval for a permit to relocate the Maine Turnpike’s York toll plaza in what could be the final step in a long and contentious process. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection approval would allow cash collection lanes at the new toll plaza, which several York residents and town officials have said they oppose for safety and environmental reasons.
Route 1 closed after truck jackknifes in West Bath
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

A tractor-trailer hauling furniture jackknifed on Route 1 in West Bath at about 1:12 p.m. Wednesday, closing the busy highway to traffic and threatening New Meadows Lake with leaked diesel fuel.
Where to find weird apples in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

This map shows several Maine orchards that feature more unusual, heritage apple varieties.
Bowdoin receives $10 million donation for Coastal Studies Center
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

An Apple executive and his wife have donated $10 million to Bowdoin College to expand the private school’s Coastal Studies Center in Harpswell. The gift is from Philip Schiller and Kim Gassett-Schiller of Half Moon Bay, California, whose son graduated from Bowdoin last year, college officials said Wednesday. Philip Schiller is senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple Inc. The money will be used for a new lab, a conference center, housing and dining facilities at the center, which is located on 118 acres on Orr’s Island. The Schillers said they hope their gift will further research on climate change.
Years of high lobster landings spark resurgence in Maine’s boat building industry
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

Analysts say Maine’s boat-building industry has made a remarkable recovery since it bottomed out during the Great Recession when many of the state’s boat builders, including Young Brothers Boats of Corea, decided to get out of the business. The resurgence of lobster boat building has been propelled by back-to-back banner years that have seen lobster landings exceed 120 million pounds annually. Prices at the dock have also risen and increased the annual value of the lobster catch to more than $500 million in 2015 and 2016.
Letter: Bangor council endorses carbon tax
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

Last week, our city council passed a resolution urging Congress to enact a carbon fee and dividend, an action that has bipartisan supporters and is recommended by leading economists as the best policy to control climate change. We follow in Portland’s footsteps and in the footsteps of many other municipalities, businesses, civic organizations and individuals across the country with this resolution. Hopefully, we will help lead the way for many more to come in a grassroots demonstration of the will of the people. With this statement, our government will need to act. Bravo to Bangor for speaking up! ~ Nancy Jacobson, Bangor
Letter: Mitigate climate change
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

Let’s bring Harvey home for a minute. What if it hit here in Maine where I’m enjoying my second summer here? Increased frequency and intensity of climate related disasters worldwide are well documented. Yet, nothing has been done to add resiliency to Houston. How horrible will the cost be now, to life, property and, decidedly, the nation. By voicing our concerns to elected representatives, we can do our part for unity in action. I joined Citizens Climate Lobby and learned to empower my efforts. I highly recommend them. ~ Jeffrey Dorian, Crestview, Florida
Letter: Climate predictions
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

“Science predicted the eclipse, so why do so many doubt climate change?” is the title of an Aug. 24 BDN editorial. The implication of that title is presumptuous, namely, that climate science is equally competent to astronomy. That is simply not so. This is not to say that the worst predictions of the climate change proponents are not wrong but merely that the case remains to be demonstrated. ~ Hans Schmidt, Lamoine
While Trump Keeps Monument Plan Secret, Proponents Tout Their Economic Benefits
Other - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 

Daily Yonder - The argument that National Monuments impede economic growth doesn’t hold water, say an economist and conservationists. With 98% of public comments in favor of leaving monuments just the way they are, many think the Trump administration is going to make changes to allow more energy and timber development.
Opinion: Saccarappa Agreement a bad deal for fish and ecosystems
Other - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 

The impacts of a private agreement between SAPPI, the City of Westbrook, Maine Department of Marine Resources, Maine Inland Fish and Wildlife, United States Fish and Wildlife and two organizations with lower Presumpscot River interests, if approved, will destroy the opportunity to resurrect one of Maine’s historical finest sea run fisheries on the Presumpscot River and Sebago Lake. The agreement is an unfortunate spoiler of a great potential economic resource for the region. The Town of Gorham would be denied these valuable fish and the ecosystems they create. ~ Roger Wheeler, Friends of Sebago Lake, Standish
Attorney General Says Maine Will Sue If EPA Rolls Back Auto Emissions Standards
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills told a national conference call that if the Environmental Protection Agency rolls back standards on greenhouse gas emissions from cars, several states, including Maine, are ready to sue. The current rules were adopted in January, and Mills said they strike the right balance between achieving cleaner air and being cost effective. “The standards set by the secretary, just in January of this year, are reasonable, they are cost effective, they comply with fuel savings and auto safety,” she said.
LePage picks oil industry veteran for energy czar
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 

Steven McGrath of Cape Elizabeth, a former executive in Maine’s oil industry, has been chosen by Gov. Paul LePage to head the Governor’s Energy Office. McGrath is the past chief financial officer of Downeast Energy Corp., where he was also responsible for oil and propane supply and hedging. For the past four years, he served as the CEO of Greystone Advisors, a financial and management advisory company.
Challenged by changes in retail world, L.L. Bean renews focus on outdoor fun
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 

L.L. Bean has done some soul-searching. The century-old brand known for Yankee durability is putting a renewed focus on the fun of being outside as it tries to invigorate sales in a fast-changing marketplace. “Be an Outsider,” the chain is urging, in a quirky ad campaign starting this month that embraces its hunting and fishing traditions but emphasizes the outdoors as an accessible place to enjoy with friends and family. It’s a contrast to how some competitors position themselves, with the outdoors a landscape to be conquered.
Alan Hutchinson was a conservation hero
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 

From his 24 years of work as a wildlife biologist for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, to his 20 years of leadership of the Forest Society of Maine, Alan Hutchinson was a conservation champion.
Unlike in Portland, solar project proceeding smoothly in South Portland
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 

The 2,944-panel array is expected to be operating in October and has not run into the same landfill maintenance problems as a similar installation by its neighbor.
UMaine professor researching ways to slow browntail moth
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 4, 2017 

A University of Maine professor is researching how the natural enemies of an invasive moth can be used to stop the pest’s growth in Maine. The browntail moth is loathed around Maine for its ability to infest trees and hurt people. The moth’s caterpillars have toxic hairs that can cause respiratory diseases and rashes that resemble poison ivy. UMaine entomology professor Eleanor Groden is looking into how things like fungi and viruses that target the caterpillars can help slow them down. The caterpillars’ range is growing, making it a bigger pain. Its hairs can become airborne as it molts, and they can then settle on everything from patio furniture to hang-drying laundry.
Portland cruise ship season gets into full swing with some big boats
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 4, 2017 

Visitors to Portland’s Old Port got an eyeful over the Labor Day weekend, with back-to-back megacruisers in port as Portland kicked off the busiest part of the cruise ship season. On Monday, the Carnival Sunshine was at Ocean Gateway with its 3,000 passengers. On Sunday it was the Anthem of the Seas at berth, one of the largest ships in the cruise industry with almost 5,000 passengers aboard. Portland’s cruise ship season is in full swing with leaf-peeper season around the corner, and there will be nearly daily cruise ships in port over the next two months.
River herring, hurt by dams and climate change, might be endangered
Associated Press - Monday, September 4, 2017 

The federal government is reviewing the status of two river herring species to see if the little fish should be listed under the Endangered Species Act because of factors including dams and climate change. The National Marine Fisheries Service is looking at the health of the alewife and blueback herring populations. The fish live in rivers from Maine to Florida, and conservationists have long made the case that their declining populations pose a major problem for the health of ecosystems along the East Coast. The herring species are estimated to be at about 3 percent of their historical abundance.
UMaine professor researching ways to slow browntail moth
Associated Press - Monday, September 4, 2017 

A University of Maine professor is researching how the natural enemies of an invasive moth can be used to stop the pest’s growth in Maine. The browntail moth is loathed around Maine for its ability to infest trees and hurt people. The moth’s caterpillars have toxic hairs that can cause respiratory diseases and rashes that resemble poison ivy. UMaine entomology professor Eleanor Groden is looking into how things like fungi and viruses that target the caterpillars can help slow them down. The caterpillars’ range is growing, making it a bigger pain. Its hairs can become airborne as it molts, and they can then settle on everything from patio furniture to hang-drying laundry.
Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float
New York Times - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

The University of Maine is undertaking an elaborate physics experiment meant to simulate conditions that full-scale floating wind turbines could face at an installation being planned about 10 miles off the Maine coast in up to 360 feet of water near tiny Monhegan Island. For nearly 18 months in 2013 and 2014, an operating version of the apparatus — one-eighth of scale — sat in the waters off Castine sending electricity to the grid. That proved the technology fundamentally worked and guided refinements to the design. Now, the UMaine team is using the data collected at the lab to confirm the final form, a crucial next step in bringing the technology to market.
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