September 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 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; hey, we're all connected). 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
York Beach Clean Up, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Join a beach clean up & attempt to set a world record spelling the largest "NO PLANET B" ever in the sand. The goal is 500 people At Long Sands Beach, York, September 23, 9 am - 12:30 pm.
Tumbledown trail maintenance, guided hike scheduled, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

A 4.7 mile round-trip guided hike up Tumbledown Mountain will include discussion of geology, trees and plants, history, wildlife and issues facing the mountain. Meet at Brook Trailhead on Byron Road, Weld, September 22, 9 am - 2 pm.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Freeport, 10 am - 4 pm, climbing wall and games ; 6:30 pm, Food Trucks, 7:15 pm, Maine Outdoor Film Festival. Free but donations benefit Teens To Trails.
Portland Electric Car Ride & Drive, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

Learn about electric cars during the 5th annual EV Expo. At Back Cove parking area off Preble Street, Portland, September 21, 12-4 pm, free pizza & coffee. Hosted by Natural Resources Council of Maine and ReVision Energy.
Smithsonian Museum Day, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

An annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. At L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley, September 21, 10 am - 4:30 pm.
Global Climate Strike, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Take to the streets for the Global Climate Strike to make sure elected officials and candidates for office in 2020 hear us loud and clear. Strikes in Maine at Farmington and Bar Harbor, September 20. ~ 350 Action
Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Ron and Deidre Fournier will speak about the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center. At meeting of the Oxford County Educators Association-Retired, Universalist Church, West Paris, September 20, 1 pm.
Pollinator plantings workshop, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Learn about the pollinators and beneficial insects helping to make our food systems work with Eric Venturini of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. At Hooker Family Farm, Oxford, September 20, 10 am - 12 pm, $10/family.
Common Ground Country Fair, Sep 20-22
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

More than 750 varied events at this annual celebration of rural living with a mix of workshops, demonstrations, music, vendors, farmers’ markets, fantastic food and more. At Unity, September 20-22, gates open daily at 9 am.
Exploring Invasive Species, Sep 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Mike Hanks of Cape Elizabeth Land Trust talks invasive plants. At Thomas Memorial Library, Cape Elizabeth, September 19, 1 pm; he will lead a walk at Gull Crest Field to identify invasive plants at 2 pm.
Untrammeled — The Case for Wild Nature in a Changing World, Sep 17
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 10, 2019 

Conservation leaders Tom Butler and Mark Anderson of the Northeast Wilderness Trust will address the science and spirit of forever-wild conservation. Q&A to follow. At Maine Audubon, Gisland Farm, Falmouth, September 17, 7 pm.
10th Great Maine Outdoor Weekend featuring 130 events, Sept. 16-18
Event - Posted - Monday, September 9, 2019 

The 10th Great Maine Outdoor Weekend will be the biggest yet, with more than 130 events planned throughout Maine, September 16-18.
Nature Cruise on the Kennebec River and Merrymeeting Bay, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 8, 2019 

Join Cathance River Education Alliance for a nature cruise from Bath up the Kennebec River to Merrymeeting Bay. September 15, 3-6:30 pm, $42 for adults, $30 for children 6 to 12, $6 for kids under 6.
Landowner Appreciation and Clean Up Day, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 8, 2019 

Landowner Appreciation and Clean Up Day, sponsored by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Forest Service, is September 15.
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News Items
Maine Attorney General joins lawsuit against Trump EPA for failing to meet Clean Air Act requirements
Maine Government News - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Attorney General Janet Mills has joined 14 attorneys general in suing the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to meet Clean Air Act deadlines. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to designate areas of the country that are in “attainment” or “non-attainment” with public health standards. The EPA was required to issue these designations by October 1, 2017. In June, the EPA announced it would delay making the required designations. In August, Mills and other attorneys general sued the EPA for illegally delaying the designations that show what areas of the country are meeting the Clean Air Act standards and which are not. The day after the lawsuit was filed the EPA announced they would not delay making the designations.
Maine among 14 states suing EPA to enforce air quality standards
Associated Press - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Fourteen states, including Maine, announced Thursday that they are suing the Trump administration over what they say is a failure to enforce smog standards. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not designated any areas of the country as having unhealthy air, missing an Oct. 1 deadline. Nationwide, the tighter restrictions were projected to save between 316 and 660 lives each year, prevent nearly 900 hospital visits and keep children from missing 160,000 school days, bringing $4.5 billion in health benefits.
October Windstorm Took Down CMP’s $200 Million Smart Meter Network
Maine Public - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

When power went out to some half a million Mainers after the October windstorm, another system went down too — Central Maine Power’s $200 million smart-grid communications network that, among other things, was supposed to improve outage communications and storm recovery. Rep. Seth Berry is spearheading a legislative inquiry into the storm response by both CMP and Emera. Even before that gets going, the state’s Public Utilities Commission next week formally opens its inquiry into the storm response.
Land Trust and Rock City Partner to Produce Georges River Roast
Free Press - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Georges River Land Trust has partnered with Rock City Roasters to develop a new medium-roast coffee blend that supports the ongoing conservation work of the land trust.
New Maine lead standard fuels 10-fold jump in interventions after children test positive
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

The number of Maine households notified of childhood lead exposure has increased tenfold in the first year since the state implemented a new law designed to combat lead poisoning with early intervention. Households representing 386 children were notified that the children had tested positive for lead exposure in the year that ended in September 2017. Under the new standard established by the law, that’s more than 10 times the number of households that would have been notified if the old standard had been in place.
Corinna couple shows off cast of mountain lion track
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

After a couple of news stories on reported mountain lion sightings, Esther Buck of Corinna rolled out the welcome mat at their cozy hilltop home in order to tell the story that she and her husband, Terry Buck, saw unfold about 30 years ago. The difference between the Buck story and that of many others: The couple has what they consider proof of the encounter in the form of a plaster cast of the cat’s paw print.
Group that cleans beaches from Maine to Mass. gets a financial boost
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

During hundreds of beach clean-ups last year, 10,000 pounds of trash was removed from the local coastline, said Jen Kennedy, co-founder of the Portsmouth, NH-based Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation. To ensure volunteers keep up their good work, the New Hampshire governor’s Executive Council on Wednesday approved a $25,000 grant to the nonprofit group. The grant is allocated for collecting marine debris, monitoring and prevention efforts, as well as to increase public awareness of marine conservation.
Scott Pruitt rejects EPA's mission
Other - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

The Hill - Scott Pruitt, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is testifying before a House subcommittee today and a Senate committee in January. These hearings will be Congress’s first chance to get answers from Pruitt since he took office. Pruitt has crusaded against science. In late October, he banned independent scientists who receive EPA funding from serving on its science advisory committees. He made key appointments that increase industry representation while slashing the percentage of academic researchers. It is the latest evidence that Pruitt is rejecting the EPA’s core mission of protecting public health.
Great moose photos and funny comments
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

I’m a fan of Paul Cyr’s photography, and his new book, "Uses for Mooses," published by Down East Books, demonstrates why. The moose photos in this book are amazing. And the book is also a fun read, with lots of humorous comments to go with the photographs. [Originally published in 2000 by author Bill Silliker Jr.]
Editorial: Donald Trump’s unprecedented assault on Mother Nature
Boston Globe - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Donald Trump’s decision to slash the size of two national monuments in Utah is an unprecedented attack on public lands that should worry anyone who cares about having access to pristine wild places or preserving priceless archaeological treasures. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s report also seems to open the door to timbering at Mount Katahdin in Maine — or as he puts it, “active timber management” — and to commercial fishing in the rich aquatic ecosystem of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts off Georges Bank. The Antiquities Act in 1906 gave the president singular authority to act quickly to protect landmarks of “historic or scientific interest” in an era of rapacious robber barons. The same law, however, stipulates that only Congress can rescind or reduce protections. When it comes to national monuments, Trump has no right to repeal and replace.
Letter: Save the Clean Power Plan
Sun Journal - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

At this moment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public comment period over its decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan. The plan provides lifesaving air pollution reductions, including the first federally created limits on carbon pollution from power plants. EPA’s analysis shows that the Clean Power Plan will prevent 90,000 pediatric asthma attacks and up to 4,500 premature deaths every year by 2030. Maine has the highest asthma rate in the country and is downwind for pollution from many power plants. I urge the EPA to prioritize the health of Americans and protect the life-saving Clean Power Plan. ~ John Chandler, Auburn
Waterville Winter Farmers Market finally finds a home
Mainebiz - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

Waterville's Downtown Winter Farmers Market has had a tough time finding a home since its launch three years ago. When the winter market starts Thursday, it will be in a new home in the Alfond Youth Center. "With Alfond Youth Center as a new partner, I feel like our farmers' market is positioned to have a significant impact on the health and well being of this community," said Kelly LaCasse, co-owner with her husband, Mark, of The Maine Meal and a vendor at the market. The market's opening coincides with the youth center opening its new geodesic dome greenhouse, part of the plan to have the kids grow vegetables year-round.
Maine utility: Our hydro project has lowest cost
Other - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

CommonWealth mag (MA) - In the public jockeying for a multibillion-dollar clean energy contract with Massachusetts, Central Maine Power on Wednesday said its project would deliver the largest amount of hydroelectricity from Quebec at the lowest cost. Central Maine Power said its proposal for delivering the power to the New England power grid is cheaper than competitors because the electricity will be carried over regular, above-ground power lines along a corridor owned by the company. By contrast, the TDI-New England transmission line will run underground or under Lake Champlain and parts of the Eversource Northern Pass transmission line running through New Hampshire will also be buried underground.
The Environmental Scandal in Scott Pruitt’s Backyard
POLITICO - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

Former residents of Tar Creek, Oklahoma, one of the dirtiest places in America, want to know why Trump’s EPA chief didn’t prosecute allegations of wrongdoing during a federal buyout program.
4-0 vote in favor of Maine forest product jobs against illegal Chinese subsidies Maine forest product
WAGM-TV - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

WAGM-TV [verbatim] In October Congressman Poliquin testified in front of international trade commission. He condemned illegal Chinese subsidies hurting Maine wood product jobs. “We won and what it means is these illegal subsidies because of those when these Chinese imports hit American sole there will be 180 % tariffs attached to those products which levels the playing field and that means that our plywood manufacturer in Presque Isle will be able to compete on level playing field.”
L.L. Bean holiday sales steady as company readies buyouts
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

L.L. Bean’s holiday sales have been steady but not record-breaking, as the company prepares to offer employees buyouts aimed at freeing up cash. The family-owned company does not publicly release sales figures. Spokeswoman Carolyn Beem said sales leading up to the holidays have been up and down, but “there is no reason to be concerned for the future of the company.”
Collins Draws Ire From Conservation Groups Over Vote On Senate Tax Bill, Allowing Arctic Drilling
Maine Public - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

The Senate tax bill includes a provision to open up 1.5 million acres to oil and gas exploration. And because U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine supported the tax bill, she now finds herself under fire from some environmental allies. This week the Natural Resources Council of Maine took out an online newspaper ad expressing disappointment in Collins’ vote. Maine Conservation Voters also expressed disappointment in Collins. Supporters, such as Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, see potential oil drilling in the ANWR as a way to pay for a small portion of the massive tax cuts.
CMP touts its bid to build transmission line through Maine
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

Central Maine Power is facing tough competition in a $1 billion bid to build a transmission line from Canada through Maine and held a news conference Wednesday to challenge its rivals and assert itself as the cheapest and most-reliable choice to supply Massachusetts with hydroelectricity. “The New England Clean Energy Connect will deliver up to 20 percent more clean energy for the region’s utility customers with lower construction costs than any of the competing proposals that are interconnecting with Hydro-Québec,” said Bob Kump, CEO of CMP’s parent company, Avangrid Networks. CMP-Avangrid’s claims were immediately contested by Martin Murray, manager for Eversource Media Relations in New Hampshire and a spokesman for Northern Pass.
Blog: How sportsmen pay the way for wildlife management
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

In the annual Wildlife Division Research & Management Report, Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Division Director Judy Camuso notes, “…the majority (74%) of Maine residents do not understand how the Department is funded, with many residents believing the Department is funded entirely through general state tax dollars. The reality is that approximately 90% of the annual MDIFW budget comes from sportsman dollars.” Most staff salaries, administrative costs and operations of MDIFW’s Bureau of Resource Management are funded by sportsmen through the collection of federal excise taxes on sporting equipment. ~ John Floyd


PUC delays change in solar net metering policy until April
Mainebiz - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

The solar power net metering rule that would change how users are compensated will not go into effect until the end of April, the Maine Public Utilities Commission decided on Tuesday. The rule — which was to have grandfathered existing solar power customers for 15 years under the current incentives but gradually reduced the credit for solar energy that could be used to offset the transmission and distribution portion of the electric bill — originally was to impact anyone who installed solar panels after Jan. 1, 2018. Critics ranging from the Natural Resources Council to the Conservation Law Foundation, as well as the solar industry, said the gradual phase-out of the net metering rule, which was originally put in place to encourage solar power installation, would drastically slow the state's solar industry.
Late-season toxic algae bloom closes most shellfishing areas in Casco Bay
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

A rare late-season toxic algae bloom has closed most of the fertile shellfishing areas in Casco Bay, disrupting the region’s wild-caught and farmed shellfish industry. The state Department of Marine Resources expanded the area of the harvesting ban Tuesday so that it now stretches from Portland Harbor to the west side of Harpswell. The closure was triggered when tests of shellfish flesh showed elevated levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring toxin that can produce sickness and brain damage in humans.
Big Changes Could Be Coming To East Coast Herring Fishery
Associated Press - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

Federal fishing regulators are considering changing the way they manage one of the largest fisheries on the East Coast to better account for its impact on the environment and other industries. The regulatory New England Fishery Management Council has released a group of alternatives for how it could change management of Atlantic herring. The small, schooling fish are harvested from Maine to Florida and are used for fish oil, food for humans and bait for fishermen.
Blog: Senator Murkowski’s Sad Bargain
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

The price of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s vote to approve the tax bill and reverse herself on health care was to end 57 years – dating back to the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower – of protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Like her father who preceded her as Alaska’s senator, she has been fighting for years to open up ANWR to oil and gas drilling. It looks like she will finally get her wish. ~ James G. Blaine
The trick to curbing stress and anxiety could be as simple as going outside
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

It’s not a regulated or licensed form of mental health therapy, but the field of “ecotherapy” is gaining ground not only across the country but also here in Maine. Its practitioners advise clients to get outside and connect with nature as part of an overall treatment plan.
Canadian Company Presents Plan For Mining Thousands Of Acres In Northern Maine
Maine Public - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

More than 75 people turned out Tuesday night in the northern Maine town of Stacyville for an initial presentation by a Canadian mineral exploration company that has purchased nearly 6.900 acres in the region. The Wolfden Resources Corp. purchased the land that includes Pickett Mountain where mineral explorations undertaken in the late 1970s indicated a significant sulfide deposit that could be rich in zinc, copper, silver and lead. The company plans two test borings on the property this month. But Alice Bolstridge, of Presque Isle, said she wasn't convinced by assurances from Wolfden Resources Corp. representatives that, if a mining operation eventually arrives in the region, it won't conflict with other historical uses of the acreage by area residents.
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