April 23, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, April 23, 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
Granite quarries of East Blue Hill, Apr 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 

Bob Slaven will discuss what was a thriving granite industry in East Blue Hill. At Blue Hill Public Library, April 30, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
Friends of Casco Bay Appreciation Celebration & Annual Meeting, Apr 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 

At Harraseeket Inn, Freeport, April 30, 5:30-8 pm, suggested donation $20.
Return to Moose River, Apr 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 

Registered Maine Guide Earl Brechlin will read from his collection of essays, “Return to Moose River: In Search of the Spirit of the Great North Woods” at Norway Memorial Library, April 30, 6:30 pm.
How to impact conservation lawmaking through your stories, Apr 29
Event - Posted - Monday, April 22, 2019 

Rep. Chloe Maxmin, of Nobleboro, and Kathleen Meil, director of policy and partnerships for the Maine Conservation Alliance, will speak about environmental and conservation lawmaking. At Newcastle Fire Department, April 29, 6:30 pm.
Hoping for a Harpswell Heron, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 21, 2019 

Learn about herons and the tracking project from Danielle D’Auria, project leader for the Heron Observation Network of Maine. At Harpswell Heritage Land Trust office, Harpswell, April 28, 3 pm.
Scarborough Marsh Clean Up, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 21, 2019 

Join Maine Audubon, Friends of Scarborough Marsh, Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, and the Scarborough community to clean up the marsh, beaches, and Nature Center grounds for the new season. At Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center, April 28, 9 am - 12 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust celebrates new Pittston preserve, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 20, 2019 

The Kennebec Land Trust will celebrate its newest acquisition, 22-acre Eastern River Preserve. Judy Schuppien and Phil Brzozowski donated the land. At Pittston, April 27, 1 pm.
Maine Spring LIVE, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 20, 2019 

A day-long festival featuring live animal presentations, bird and nature walks, citizen science projects and opportunities, birdhouse construction demonstrations, solar energy tours, games, etc. At Maine Audubon's Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, April 27.
Feathers over Freeport, Apr 27-28
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 20, 2019 

A birdwatching weekend for all ages. At Bradbury Mountain and Wolfe's Neck Woods State Parks, April 27-28.
Birding Field Trip: Whiskeag Creek, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 20, 2019 

Explore Whiskeag Creek, Bath, where it empties into the Kennebec River at Thorne Head. April 27, 7:30am – noon. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Maine Bird Atlas Workshop, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 20, 2019 

Learn about the Maine Bird Atlas, a project to survey and map the distribution and abundance of breeding and wintering birds in Maine. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, April 27, 3-5 pm. Sponsored by Brunswick Topsham Land Trust.
Maine Association of Conservation Commissions Annual Conference, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 20, 2019 

Amanda Shearin, Habitat Outreach Coordinator, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, will discuss "Climate Change Impacts to and Adaptive Strategies for Coastal and Inland Communities." Fred Snow, president, Maine Association of Conservation Commissions, will discuss how conservation commission involvement in Comprehensive Plan updates can make a difference. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, April 27, 9 am.
Woodcock Watch, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Friday, April 19, 2019 

Learn about the American Woodcock and experience one of spring's delights—the dazzling displays of courting woodcocks. At Fields Pond, Holden, April 26, 7 pm, Maine Audubon members $8, non-members $10.
The Messenger Film Screening, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 18, 2019 

This documentary explores our deep-seated connection to birds and warns that the uncertain fate of songbirds might mirror our own. At Frontier, Brunswick, April 25, 7 pm. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Freeport Wild Bird Supply.
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News Items
Letter: Get Middle Dam renewal right
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 5, 2019 

It is time for the Land Use Planning Commission to decide whether or not to accept Brookfield’s renewal plan for Middle Dam on Lower Richardson Lake in Township C “as is” or delay issuing a permit until such time that Brookfield adequately addresses the issues raised by testimony given by interveners and the concerned public. In my opinion, the LUPC should not grant Brookfield a permit until such time as environmental, recreational, fishing access, habitat restoration, and scenic restoration remediation deficiencies are resolved. Brookfield must prove to the citizens of Maine that it can be a responsible corporate citizen. ~ John Treble, Camp Owner, Richardson Lake
Letter: It’s all about no carbon emissions
Sun Journal - Friday, April 5, 2019 

The proposed Hydro-Quebec transmission line in Maine would provide 1 TWh of electricity to New England. That power would come without future carbon emissions, as the generating facilities have long since been constructed. By contrast, that same electricity, currently produced by burning fossil fuels, pumps 3.6 million metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere over New England. People can argue all they want about eyesores. Just remember, they don’t kill people, and they won’t cost any money. You can’t undo cancer, forestry losses or polluted water. ~ Jamie Beaulieu, Farmington
Letter: Dismayed about CMP power line
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Friday, April 5, 2019 

I have many concerns of why Central Maine Power Company has been aided and fast tracked to this point in their quest to construct this line since 2017. The permitting agencies have not been diligent with protecting the rights and ideals of Maine rate payers, taxpayers and environmentalists. As a citizen and taxpayer of the state of Maine I ask that all state commissions delay any decisions in regards to this application until citizens have had ample time to digest and investigate the thousands of pages of documents submitted by Central Maine Power Company. ~ Thomas White II, Jay
Tracing a Family, And Party’s, Changing Climate Attitudes
Maine Public - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

The push for more renewable energy projects has taken off in New England’s relatively progressive political environment, in which climate change is seen as a real problem that needs to be solved, in a bi-partisan way. But the roots of climate change skepticism within the Republican party can be traced to the region, too? A look at the Republican party’s changing attitudes towards climate change, from the powerful Sununu family of New Hampshire.
Opinion: Northeastern Wolves: Then and Now
Other - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

Adirondack Almanack - Wolves were common in the Northeast when European settlers arrived, but efforts to eradicate them eventually succeeded. The wolf disappeared from most of southern New England by the end of the eighteenth century, but hung on in parts of Maine. A 2011 report concluded that parts of our region, such as northern Maine, have suitable wolf habitat with sufficient prey. However, proposals in the 1990s to reintroduce wolves in Maine were controversial. People were concerned wolves would frequent residential areas where deer densities were high. Also, genetic analyses of eastern coyotes revealed a significant percentage of wolf genes. Coyotes had interbred with wolves on their migration from west to east, and it seemed likely that they would hybridize with reintroduced wolves. A survey showed the majority of Maine residents preferred to let wolves come back on their own. If wolves do come back to our region, that’s likely how it will happen. ~ Susan Shea
Just 20 minutes of contact with nature will lower stress hormone levels, reveals new study
ScienceDaily - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

Taking at least 20 minutes out of your day to stroll or sit in a place that makes you feel in contact with nature will significantly lower your stress hormone levels. That's the finding of a study that has established for the first time the most effective dose of an urban nature experience. Healthcare practitioners can use this discovery to prescribe 'nature-pills' in the knowledge that they have a real measurable effect.
Public weighs in on proposed CMP power line project in Farmington
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

Opponents of a proposed transmission line through western Maine outnumbered proponents by a ratio of more than two-to-one in early testimony to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection Thursday night. The hearing comes near the end of a week of public hearings hosted by the DEP and Land Use Planning Commission at the University of Maine at Farmington. Becky Bartorios of the Sierra Club of Maine, said, “The damage to Maine’s environment for Massachusetts to benefit for false clean power is huge — crossing 115 streams, 263 wetlands and numerous other ponds that provide critical wildlife habitat while dangling towering power lines over one of our most iconic forests.”
Poland Spring might get soaked with $100 million state tax
Sun Journal - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

Lawmakers are considering a controversial bill that would raise more than $100 million for the state by applying a new tax on water that would be paid only by Poland Spring. The proposed 12-cents-a-gallon extraction fee would apply to nearly a billion gallons annually used by the Swiss-owned company that has marketed its Maine-only water since 1845. The company and business community has rallied to block the bill. Poland Spring, whose parent company, Nestlé, headquartered in Switzerland, is among the largest public companies in the world, has 10 springs in the state, largely in western Maine.
Committee rejects move to eliminate Maine motor vehicle inspections
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

The Legislature’s Transportation Committee on Thursday rejected a bill that would have done away with Maine’s requirement for a new motor vehicle inspection sticker each year. The committee voted unanimously against the legislation, which would have removed the mandatory safety inspection for all vehicles registered in Maine.
Maine House Advances Measure To Ban Single-use Polystyrene Containers
Maine Public - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

Maine moved closer to becoming one of the first states to ban single-use polystyrene containers. The Democratic-controlled House voted 87-51 Thursday to advance a statewide ban on the plastic foam containers most commonly used by eating establishments. Supporters like Democratic Rep. Stanley Zeigler, of Montville, said during the floor debate that the products are harmful to the environment and should be replaced by different products, such as hemp or a wood-derivative.
Maine restaurants turn to corn straws to reduce plastic use
Seacoast Online - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

If you go to The Bitter End on Route 1 in Wells and ask for a straw with your drink, you’ll get one — but not the plastic kind you’ve been sipping from for years. The eatery, which serves contemporary American food, offers straws made of biodegradable paper. Its cocktail straws are made from corn. The Bitter End is one example of several local restaurants that the Planeteers of Southern Maine is applauding as part of its ongoing “Skip the Straw” campaign. In addition to asking restaurants to refrain from offering straws, the organization also plans to advocate for the bulk pricing of alternatives to plastics and seek ways to establish easier means of composting.
BREAKING: Angus King may not be coming back to Maine after Bernhardt vote
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

On Thursday morning, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted to advance the nomination of David Bernhardt to head the Interior Department to the full Senate. The committee approved Bernhardt’s nomination 14 to 6 despite major ethics and conflicts concerns. Sen. Angus King of Maine joined Republicans on the committee in voting for Bernhardt. A week ago, in a hearing on Bernhardt's nomination, King said that if he voted for Bernhardt and Interior then moved to open up coastal waters to offshore drilling, “I don’t believe I can go home again.”
Maine Water’s parent files a new application to merge with California company
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

The parent of Maine Water Co., a water utility that serves 21 towns, has submitted a new application to merge with a California company that it says addresses earlier concerns of regulators.
Atlantic hurricane season could bring 13 named storms this year
Washington Post - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

At least 13 storm systems should reach tropical strength and get a name in 2019, with five becoming hurricanes and two spawning winds of 111 miles per hour or more, Colorado State University said in its annual Atlantic forecast. An El Nino weather pattern will linger into the fall. In the U.S., more than 6.9 million homes, valued at $1.6 trillion, are at risk from storms.
Aroostook County biomass plant closures leave sawmills with lots of woody leftovers
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

The closure of Aroostook County’s two biomass plants is leaving the region’s sawmills without a ready outlet for all of their woody leftovers, such as bark, sawdust, shavings and chips. ReEnergy’s Fort Fairfield plant closed last November and is now slated for demolition, while the Ashland facility is set to shut down this month, though has no demolition plans, according to New York-based ReEnergy. Each of the two plants had between 22 and 30 suppliers of biomass.
Here’s your chance to visit a black bear den next winter
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is rolling out a program that will offer people the chance to win day-in-the-life experiences with biologists and game wardens. First up: A chance to spend the day with Maine Warden Service K-9s and their handlers. Other Keeper of the Maine Outdoors Experiences on tap: A summer private after-hours tour of the Maine Wildlife Park, a fall on-the-water day or fish hatchery tour with a fisheries biologist, and a winter black bear den visit with wildlife biologists. The project helps educate the public about the department’s mission and programs.
Deals to turn Bucksport’s former mill site into a salmon farm, training academy near next steps
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

The company that owns the former Verso Paper mill site expects to close deals within 60 days to sell portions of the 250-acre site for a proposed $250 million salmon farm and a Maine Maritime Academy training annex. A representative of site owner American Iron and Metal said that Whole Oceans, which has proposed the salmon farm, and the academy were finishing their due diligence on their separate deals at a good pace. Whole Oceans plans to build a $250 million salmon farm that will create 50 jobs in its first phase, during which the company expects to invest $75 million. The annex the academy plans is expected to eventually draw 2,400 MMA students, mostly professional mariners, annually.
Editorial: Maine’s new solar law is just a first step
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

Restoring net metering will bring a sense of certainty to the industry in Maine, which has been rocked by former Gov. Paul LePage’s animosity to any kind of renewable-energy project. His vetoes of solar expansion bills and his negative rhetoric slowed the growth of an industry that is still providing good-paying jobs in areas that have been hit hard by economic contraction. But the bill that Gov. Mills signed this week only gets the state back to the status quo, where we were before LePage began trying to wipe out the market for solar power. Over the next weeks, lawmakers will have to work hard to make sure that we have the right rules in place to take full advantage of this promising part of the clean-energy economy.
Column: We must take on the war against warming
Sun Journal - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

Climate change is a very different kind of peril, but it, too, is menacing our planet with catastrophic consequences for both our natural environment and built civilization. Americans see the devastating fires, droughts, hurricanes and tornados. Natural disasters have always been with us. Responsible climate scientists are careful not to place all the onus for these events on rising temperatures. But they do insist that climate is playing a part, and that as the Earth gets warmer, these calamities will grow in degree and number. Still, the appeaser politicians have no answer other than to spend zillions of taxpayer dollars on fixes that won’t work for long. And where will that money come from? Many of these same officials lustily supported the Trump tax cuts, which are draining the Treasury of needed revenues. ~ Froma Harrop
Opinion: Maine’s controversial corridor crossroads
Times Record - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

One side claims it’s the environmental and economic right thing to do in responsibly meeting regional “green energy goals” while still providing sufficient offsets “in the best interest of Maine ratepayers.” The other side says the environmental promise is vastly overstated, hardly green at all, while the touted economic advantage to Maine is a laugh-out-loud pittance. The controversy concerns a Central Maine Power/Hydro-Quebec proposed New England Clean Energy Connect. If we have to sacrifice the environment in order to save it, that’s just what we’ll have to do if our “way of life” is to prevail. Sadly, that’s a narrative most accept unquestioningly. ~ Gary Anderson
Letter: Listen to kids fighting for climate
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

Our national and international leadership has its focus on perks and entrenched privileges rather than addressing the frightful dangers threatening mankind. The present day real worries should foremost be about climate change, plastic particles in the bellies of fish, and the reproductive frenzy that is responsible for the population explosion. The blind are still leading the blind. Fortunately, the younger generation most likely to suffer the terminal effects of fossilized and ineffective leadership is beginning to be alarmed. Thousands of youngsters across the globe are calling for immediate action to save the planet. It will take a groundswell to limit the inaction of our elected officials. ~ Howard N. Stewart, Manchester
Letter: CMP project a big win
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect project is a big win for Mainers. The project will create 3,500 jobs at peak construction and provide clean air by using renewable hydropower. NECEC also will make a dent on our electric bills to the tune of millions of dollars a year for decades to come. Whether it’s a major reduction or not, anything that brings my electric bill down works for me, especially since Mainers aren’t paying a penny for it. We need to support this project. It’s an investment in our future which will put us in a better position both economically and environmentally for decades to come. ~ Melissa Hall, Gardiner
Letter: Water district customers should be alerted to Sebago threat
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, April 4, 2019 

Kudos to the Maine Brewshed Alliance for supporting the protection of Maine’s waters, especially Sebago Lake. The major threat to Sebago Lake is the proposed reversal of the Portland-to-Montreal pipeline, which would carry Alberta diluted bitumen through the watershed of Sebago Lake and under Jordan Bay. A major rupture of the aging pipeline would have catastrophic effects on the quality of the water. Portland Water District trustees are not willing to inform their customers of the potential threat. Why? ~ Tom Mikulka, Cape Elizabeth
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens to pay over $18,000 for environmental violations
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens will pay more than $18,600 to build a fish passage on the Sheepscot River at the Alna dam to settle environmental violations it committed during a major expansion two years ago. The Boothbay-based nonprofit was cited by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in 2017 for building structures without approval and filling wetlands, a breach of the state’s Natural Resources Protection act. President and CEO William Cullina said the nonprofit violated the rules because it didn’t want to wait to get state approval for minor changes to its work plan. At the time, the DEP was so backlogged it would have taken more than a year for authorization.
Biddeford, developers agree on mixed-use project for incinerator site
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 

Developers James Brady and Brian Eng, the team behind BE Fitler LLC, want to create a mixed-use development of residential, retail, office, hospitality, education and service uses. More than $100 million in new investment downtown has been announced since the Maine Energy trash incinerator was removed.
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