February 24, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, February 24, 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
Help wanted: Environment Maine State Director
Announcement - Friday, February 24, 2017 

Coordinate advocacy, field organizing, and media communications driving campaigns to restore Maine's lakes and rivers, to bring more clean energy to Maine, to curb global warming pollution, and to protect Maine's open spaces.
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Maine Governor Paul LePage is urging President Trump to kill the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. This makes no sense for a host of reasons. Tell President Trump and Maine's congressional representatives to oppose any effort to undo our national monument. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Protect Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Governor LePage has asked President Trump to undo the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Ask your Senators and Representatives to do everything in their power to protect the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Help wanted: Maine Audubon Executive Director
Announcement - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Seeking an inspiring leader who can articulate the vision of Maine Audubon and lead, support, and galvanize the organization’s stakeholders.
RESIST: Skills to Fight Back for Maine’s Environment, Mar 8
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Learn the skills you need to be an powerful activist. At Urban Farm Fermentory, Portland, March 8, 5:30-8:30 pm. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine Conservation Voters, The Wilderness Society, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Maine Public Health Association.
The National Parks in the 21st Century, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Gretchen Long, a member of the National Park System Advisory Board, will present an overview of the park system. At Yarmouth History Center, March 2, 2 pm.
Lets Go Hiking, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Don Miskill talks about his experiences hiking and shows photos from his travels. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, March 2, 7 pm.
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, Feb 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

Jonathan White takes you on a journey spanning the globe as he examines the many dimensions of the tides, the science behind them, and how they influence culture. At Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, Unity, Feb 28, 6 pm.
Inspired by Nature, Feb 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

An examination of how nature inspires people in many different ways and in many different fields. At Topsham Public Library, February 28, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Mindful Meditation at Morse Pond Preserve, Feb 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 18, 2017 

Bobby Carnicella will lead a mindful nature walk at Morse Pond Preserve in Georgetown, February 25, 9:30 am. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Clean Up Pence’s Dirty Coal
Action Alert - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Mike Pence may be Trump's "clean up" man, but he failed the environment. Under Pence's leadership, super polluters spewed unregulated pollution into the air, placing children at risk of disease and the world in danger of the consequences of climate change.
Owl Prowl, Feb 24
Event - Posted - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Learn about native owl species, their ecology and adaptations, and meet local representatives up close. At Center For Wildlife, York, Feb 24, 5 pm, $7.
Appalachian Odyssey, Feb 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

Maine native and insatiable (10,000 mile) hiker Jeff Ryan has just published "Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on the Appalachian Trail." For nearly 3 decades, Jeff hiked a section of the trail with the same friend (they started hiking in 1985 and completed the AT in 2013). This is a fundraiser for Teens To Trails. At Frontier, Brunswick, Feb 23, 7 pm, $5.
Malaga Island management meeting, Feb 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust will hold a public meeting in Phippsburg to gather input on the management of Malaga Island. At Phippsburg Town Hall, Feb 23, 6 pm.
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News Items
NRCM “Deeply Dismayed” by Senate Vote Confirming Pruitt to Head EPA
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Statement of Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine: We are deeply dismayed that the U.S. Senate has voted to confirm Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. This is bad news for Maine, because we depend on clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment as a foundation of our economy. Scott Pruitt is hostile toward the mission of EPA and has spent much of his career suing the EPA to block clean air and clean water standards that protect the health of Maine people and all Americans.
Pingree tweets "Disappointed to see #PollutingPruitt confirmed"
Maine Environmental News - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Today, Maine's 1st district U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree tweeted: "Disappointed to see #PollutingPruitt confirmed. Will work on Interior & Environment Approps to #resist his efforts to dismantle @EPA."
The Senate just voted to put Big Oil in charge of EPA
Sierra Club - Friday, February 17, 2017 

The EPA may never be the same again: Less than 24 hours ago, a judge ordered Trump's EPA nominee Scott Pruitt to disclose as many as 3,000 secret emails he sent to his buddies in the fossil fuel industry. Today — before the emails were even disclosed — the Senate confirmed Pruitt as Trump's EPA chief.
Longtime adversary of EPA confirmed to lead the agency
Washington Post - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various forms of pollution, was confirmed Friday as the agency’s next administrator. Pruitt cleared the Senate by a vote of 52-46.
Pruitt confirmed
Other - Friday, February 17, 2017 

The U.S. Senate just voted to confirm Scott Pruitt as the new EPA administrator. I won’t sugarcoat it: It’s a blow to the agency and the laws that protect our air, our water, and the health of our families — and it will only make our jobs harder. But we won’t stand down. We’re determined to defend our hard-won clean air and water laws and our global commitments to address climate change. ~ Anna Aurilio, Environment America
Hold Senators Who Voted for Pruitt Accountable
Other - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Today the Senate confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Friends of the Earth offered the following response to today’s vote: “Donald Trump selected Scott Pruitt to oversee the dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt’s track record in Oklahoma shows that he will sacrifice clean air and clean water to Big Oil. Every senator who voted for Pruitt will be responsible for his attacks on the public health and the environment."
Lawmakers Ignored Pruitt’s Record, says UCS
Other - Friday, February 17, 2017 

The Senate’s confirmation of Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency marks a low point in the United States’ history of environmental and public health protection, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Scott Pruitt, longtime EPA adversary, wins confirmation to lead the agency
Washington Post - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Scott Pruitt woke up Friday morning as Oklahoma’s attorney general, a post he had used for six years to repeatedly sue the Environmental Protection Agency for its efforts to regulate mercury, smog and other forms of pollution. By day’s end, he had been sworn in as the agency’s new leader, setting off a struggle over what the EPA will become in the Trump era. Maine's Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King both vote against the nominee.
Bald eagle population on the rise
Seacoast Online - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Bald eagles, once an endangered species, now flourish in the Northeast and the Seacoast region. The bird has been long delisted as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act and was removed a decade ago from the federal list of threatened species. Maine removed it from its state threatened list in 2009, and New Hampshire is looking into removing it from its list. Kristen Lamb, the executive director of the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, Maine, said the key to the bald eagle recovery was the banning of DDT.
Portland to Host International Lobster Conference in June
Maine Public - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Portland will host the 11th International Conference & Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management on June 4-9. The conference will focus on environmental changes impacting the lobster industry. The globalization of the lobster industry will also be a key subject. American fishermen caught more than 146 million pounds of lobster in 2015. Maine accounted for more than 122 million of those pounds.
Maine Lawmakers Consider Curbs on Harvesting Marine Worms
Associated Press - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Maine legislators are looking to put new restrictions on the harvest of marine worms. Legislators are considering a proposal called "An Act To Protect the Marine Worm Industry.'' The proposal states that a person would no longer be able to fish for or take marine worms from Dec. 1 to March 31. Worm harvesting is a sizeable industry in Maine. The state's bloodworm harvest typically totals 400,000 to 500,000 pounds per year. The worms are typically used as bait. The proposal is scheduled to come before the Legislature's marine resources committee on Feb. 27.
Lawmakers Walk Fine Line Between Fighting Fraud, Protecting Speech in Ballot Process
Maine Public - Friday, February 17, 2017 

While a partisan fight looms in the Legislature over changes that could make it harder for groups to use Maine’s citizen initiative process to pass new laws, bipartisan support is emerging to crack down on aggressive tactics used to get on the ballot. Lawmakers weighing new reforms must strike a tricky balance between policing fraud and protecting political speech. Former Republican state Sen. David Trahan, now head of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, fought to defeat initiatives brought forward by the Humane Society of the United States and, more recently, a gun control effort. Trahan says, “It’s like the Wild West, you guys need to get this under control.”
Moosehead Lake Region offering new trails, outdoor adventures and challenges
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 17, 2017 

The community in the Moosehead Lake Region is banding together to showcase the area’s many natural resources and make outdoor recreation more accessible to visitors. A number of collaborative projects are underway, bringing together area businesses, organizations and state agencies in an effort to improve area signage, mapping, trails and other outdoor resources for the public.
Letter: Lead ammunition harms birds
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 17, 2017 

In a Jan. 30 BDN letter to the editor, Don Kleiner expressed his concern about the Obama administration’s rule mandating non-lead containing ammunition. He lamented the extra cost, pointing out that hunting license fees go toward conservation of wildlife and environment. Lead and its lethal effects on wildlife has been a nationwide issue for years. Shortly before his letter, the famous Bangor eagle was once again found suffering from lead poisoning and this time could not be saved. A week later, an eagle in Calais suffered the same fate. It seems we would be not only conserving wildlife and the environment by not using lead ammunition, but maybe even ourselves. ~ Linda Gralenski, Pembroke
Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Incidental Canada Lynx Trapping
Maine Public - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

A federal judge in Bangor has thrown out a lawsuit claiming that state and federal wildlife officials were failing to protect the threatened Canada Lynx as required by the Endangered Species Act. Fewer than 1,000 lynx are estimated to survive in Maine. Over the last several years wildlife regulators have set rules that permit a limited number of lynx to be accidentally killed or injured in traps set for other animals. Animal rights groups charge that regulators ignored scientific evidence from their own biologists that Maine’s lynx population would be imperiled by permitting that “incidental take." But on Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Jon Levy ruled that the regulators’ decision was sound.
EPA staff told to prepare for Trump executive orders: sources
Reuters - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

Staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been told that President Donald Trump is preparing a handful of executive orders to reshape the agency, to be signed once a new administrator is confirmed. Earlier this month, Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced a 45-word bill to "terminate" the EPA - a piece of legislation that is not expected to pass.
Column: Don’t underestimate the ferocity of the great horned owl
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

I don’t know everything about birds. Sometimes I just have to fake it. For instance, I was recently asked if a great horned owl could take a cat. No, I said to myself. Great horned owls only weigh about three pounds, give or take a few ounces. Cats weigh twice as much and more. Surely that would be too much for an owl to carry off. Wrong. Great horned owls are beastly. ~ Bob Duchesne
A New Commission to Kill Regs Quietly Heads to House Floor for Approval
Free Press - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

While public attention is elsewhere, changes are happening in D.C. committee rooms that could have far-reaching impacts. The SCRUB Act (Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome, HR 988), which would approve establishing an unelected nine-member commission to identify regulations that they think should be overturned and provide $30 million to fund the effort, was passed at the House committee level on Tuesday. Attempts to reign in the power of the commission to exclude rolling back Clean Air Act regulations, whistleblower protections, and ethical conflicts failed.
Opinion: In Praise of Maine Aqua Ventus
Free Press - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

A group that calls itself Protect Monhegan is seeking to change existing legislation by introducing LR 1613, “An Act to Protect Monhegan.” The proposed legislation aims to move a University of Maine ocean test site from Monhegan’s back yard to someone else’s. The test site was selected by the state of Maine in legislation passed over eight years ago. If the bill is passed, UMO/Maine Aqua Ventus will forfeit a $39.9 million Department of Energy grant and Monhegan will lose community benefits crucial to sustainability as a year-round working community. Protect Monhegan is not the voice of the community. ~ James W. Balano III, Spruce Head & Monhegan
Baileyville mill workers exposed to toxic gas
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

A leak of poisonous gas at the local pulp and tissue mill has resulted in several people being brought as a precaution to Calais Regional Hospital, according to mill officials. Woodland Pulp sent out a press release Thursday afternoon that indicated 18 people were exposed to chlorine oxide gas at around 10 a.m. during a planned maintenance outage at the mill.
LePage Wishes He Could Fire His PUC Appointees, Denies Supporting the Biomass Bailout
Free Press - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

In a rare press conference last Friday, Gov. Paul LePage unleashed a tirade against three members of the Maine Public Utilities Commission for a recent decision regarding electric rates paid to solar power producers. The governor, who made the remarks in front of a display of little dollhouses, said he was “enormously disappointed with the PUC,” all three members of which he appointed, because the cost of solar “has brought us from being the twelfth highest energy costs in America down to 11.” When a reporter pointed out the inconsistency of the governor opposing favorable rates for solar, but approving the $13.4 million taxpayer bailout to the wood biomass industry last year. LePage said he didn’t support the bill, but that he had “no choice” but to sign it .
DEP fine adds to list of woes for Camden’s Snow Bowl
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

The town of Camden and an excavation company, BCD Excavation and Forestry, are being fined more than $50,000 by the state Department of Environmental Protection for destroying a section of forest and failing to prevent erosion that polluted nearby bodies of water as part of a multi-million dollar upgrade at the town-owned ski area that began in 2014.
How a war on science could hurt the U.S.—and its citizens
TIME - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

The first days of the Trump Administration have shown that many of the seemingly settled scientific facts—the ones that have informed countless policies from previous U.S. Administrations—are once more up for debate. The challenge is that once public trust in science is undercut—once it is becomes politicized—the damage can be very hard to undo.
Wiscasset property owners sue town, state over Route 1 project
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

The owners of a number of downtown Wiscasset properties have asked a superior court judge to halt a $5 million Maine Department of Transportation project designed to ease traffic along the section of Route 1 that makes up Main Street after the plans changed substantially since voters approved them in June. Ralph H. Doering and his family on Monday filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. The Doerings allege that state transportation officials’ public participation process and ongoing eminent domain proceedings are “flawed,” and that the state opted to forgo $4 million in federal funding — 80 percent of the cost of the project — in order to skirt accompanying federal historic and environmental regulations.
Crop-Protecting Fungicides May Be Hurting The Honey Bees
National Public Radio - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

"The long-standing assumption is that fungicides won't be toxic to insects," says May Berenbaum, an entomologist. But Berenbaum and her colleagues found, in a study published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that fungicides can harm bees by making it harder for them to metabolize their food. If bees can't get energy from their food, they can't fly.
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