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
Contentious Maine mining rules before lawmakers
Associated Press - Monday, February 24, 2014 

A proposed overhaul of Maine’s mining regulations made its way to state lawmakers on Monday as supporters and critics remain deeply divided over whether expanded metallic mining is the answer to Maine’s economic problems or will result in the demise of the natural resources that make the state special. The proposed rules were crafted in light of renewed interest in mining of gold, silver copper and other metals in Aroostook County’s Bald Mountain, but they continue to face fierce pushback from environmental groups and others who say they don’t go far enough to protect Maine’s environment from toxins like sulfur and arsenic.
New large-scale mining rules panned during hours of testimony to lawmakers
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 24, 2014 

Long-simmering controversy around new rules for mine operators that proponents say will revive an industrial sector that has been dormant for more than 30 years in Maine continued Monday in Augusta, where the proposed rules finally made it to the Legislature. Judging by testimony offered Monday and responses from the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee, the rules won’t have an easier time in the State House than they did during months of consideration by the Board of Environmental Protection.
NewPage rethinking merger after Verso debt restructuring hits snag
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 24, 2014 

Verso Paper’s $1.4 billion acquisition of NewPage Holdings Inc. appears to be closer to falling apart after NewPage made clear last week that it would not waive certain refinancing provisions contained in the original merger agreement, and would be forced to “re-evaluate” the deal if Verso is not able to meet its commitments. Verso twice extended the deadline of the exchange offer, but in the end it appears it was not enough. Verso asked NewPage if it was willing to waive or amend the exchange offer provision in the merger agreement. NewPage would not budge on the refinancing provisions in the merger agreement.
Portland's waterfront gets renewed interest
Mainebiz - Monday, February 24, 2014 

From east to west and everything in between, Portland's waterfront is changing. Last summer, Phineas Sprague sold the 10-acre Portland Co. complex on the city's eastern waterfront, an area of the city's waterfront long identified as well suited for a mix of offices, restaurants and retail businesses that could blend with renovation of the area's historic buildings. That sale, in turn, enabled Sprague to relocate his Portland Yacht Services boatyard to an undeveloped parcel just west of the Casco Bay Bridge. Then there's Icelandic shipping company Eimskip's decision to relocate its North American headquarters to Portland. And on the western-most end, developers of the $105 million Thompson's Point project along the Fore River are proceeding with their plans to create a mixed-use development. The point man for making sure these and other projects remain true to the city's long-term goals for waterfront development is Bill Needelman.
Battle over CMP's rate proposal pits profits against renewable advocates
Mainebiz - Monday, February 24, 2014 

Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, has spent the better part of three years pitching Brunswick Landing as the epicenter of an emerging clean energy market in Maine and is nearly ready to seal a deal with a company that intends to build an anaerobic digester at the former Navy base. Until recently, he had no inkling that goal also would put Brunswick Landing in a high-stakes policy battle with Central Maine Power Co. But he finds himself joining more than a dozen trade, environmental and renewable energy groups that have filed with the Maine Public Utilities Commission as intervenors in CMP's Alternative Rate Plan 2014 proposal.
The Persistence of Pollution
Harold Johnson Undercurrents Blog - Monday, February 24, 2014 

News outlets last week revealed that seven square miles of the Penobscot River were being closed immediately to lobster fishing thanks to mercury poisoning. Arms were raised, people were shocked, accusations of coverups flew. The usual. What else is “the usual”? Fishery closures in Maine because of pollution. If you’d like to drop your jaw, check out Maine’s list of beaches/shores/rivers partially or completely closed to shellfishing.
A Lazy Person’s Guide to Understanding Maine News Outlets
Maine Environmental News - Monday, February 24, 2014 

Here is a (mostly) tongue-in-cheek summary of who reads which Maine news sources. Like everything else in (digital) print, don't take it too seriously.
Letter: Don't rush to remove Yarmouth dam
Forecaster - Monday, February 24, 2014 

Yarmouth’s Town Council may soon vote to remove the Bridge Street dam without knowing what it will cost, who will pay for it, or what toxins may be released. A consultant estimated $400,000 for removal, but no firm price is known. I encourage Yarmouth residents to demand that the Town Council not vote to remove the bridge until they know what it will cost and who will pay for it. ~ Bill Gardiner, Yarmouth
Opinion: We should elect top posts
Times Record - Monday, February 24, 2014 

Governors, unlike presidents, have only a marginal effect on the economy’s rise or fall. For at least 40 years, candidates have lamented the dearth of good jobs and the resulting exodus of talented young people. Governors can have negative effects, though. Gov. Paul LePage has done his best to sabotage the state’s most promising new industry, wind power. But building an economy that grows faster than the national norm will take a team effort; a governor can’t single-handedly lift that kind of weight. So what can we expect of candidates that would make a real difference? How about overhauling the antiquated structure of state government to make it more respected, more effective, and more accountable to the people? ~ Douglas Rooks
Editorial: Government-by-paper focus in Congress isn’t what Maine needs from a Gov. Michaud
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 24, 2014 

Twenty-two of the largest federal agencies have cut their spending on paper by about 7 percent in the past year. That’s a development to cheer, a sign that the federal government is adapting to a digital world and saving taxpayers money. But that trend has the paper industry, a staple of Maine’s economy, alarmed and in full lobbying mode. An industry-funded group, Consumers for Paper Options, is pressing the federal government to reverse the movement toward digital governance. U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud of Maine is one of the members of Congress the industry-funded group has in its corner. Papermaking runs deep both personally for Michaud and in the district he represents in Congress. The problem is, Michaud’s advocacy against changes that are part of a natural evolution in government, health care and the broader economy isn’t an economic development strategy — even if it temporarily protects an important industry with a powerful local presence.
Column: It’s abrupt climate change, stupid
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 24, 2014 

This is not how it was supposed to happen. The standard climate change predictions said that people in the tropics and the sub-tropics would be badly hurt by global warming long before the people living in the temperate zones, farther away from the equator, were feeling much pain at all. The people of the temperate zones are going to get hurt early after all, but not by gradual warming. Their weather is just going to get more and more extreme: heat waves, blizzards and flooding on an unprecedented scale. ~ Gwynne Dyer
Carrie Enos takes the helm at UMaine Pulp and Paper Foundation
Mainebiz - Monday, February 24, 2014 

After 14 years in the pulp and paper industry, Carrie Enos takes the helm at the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation. The UMaine alumna intends to bring her deep knowledge of one of Maine's legacy industries to the foundation, which encourages and supports engineering students via more than 80 annual scholarships and mentoring opportunities to pursue careers within the pulp and paper industry.
Down East conservation group hopes method of ‘planting’ salmon eggs in rivers will restore population
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 24, 2014 

A salmon conservation organization is trying a new technique Down East for the first time, “planting” eggs in three rivers in the region in hopes they will hatch and grow into adult versions of Atlantic salmon. The Downeast Salmon Federation, based in Columbia Falls, has adopted a technique that has been used successfully by state fisheries biologists in the Kennebec drainage in western Maine for about eight years.
Maine panel holds hearing on mining regulations
Associated Press - Monday, February 24, 2014 

Maine lawmakers are holding a public hearing on new mining regulations that critics say will say will weaken land and water protections and won’t protect the environment from sulfuric acid and other toxins. The Environment and Natural Resources Committee will examine the proposed mining rules Monday. The Maine Board of Environmental Protection gave its stamp of approval to the new rules in January. Now the Legislature must sign off on them before they go into effect.
Letter: LD 616 isn’t anti-environment
Times Record - Monday, February 24, 2014 

A mailer recently sent out by the wind industry asks citizens to contact legislators and urge them to vote against LD 616. The industry blatantly misrepresented the intent and language of LD 616, saying: “Bills like LD to squeeze out new wind projects with bad policies that threaten jobs, clean air and a future less dependent on foreign fossil fuels.” LD 616 doesn’t seek to “squeeze out” anything. It has nothing to do with wind projects, jobs or clean air. LD 616 will simply provide a means for a few disenfranchised Mainers to have equal rights restored to them. ~ Karen Bessey Pease, Lexington Township
Editorial: New ways to treat winter roads better for Maine’s watersheds
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 24, 2014 

Road salt and sand are a godsend in the middle of a harsh winter, when highway and public works crews drop tons of the stuff, melting snow and providing traction on Maine roads. However, spring rain washes most of it away from the roads and into lakes, rivers, streams and ground wells. That harms aquatic life and water quality, threatening some of Maine’s greatest natural resources. New materials, and new ways for evaluating winter road maintenance, can ensure safety while minimizing the environmental damage caused every winter.
Letter: Proposed bill threatens cleanliness of Maine’s groundwater
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 24, 2014 

The closure of a seven-square-mile area at the mouth of the Penobscot River to crab and lobster harvesting due to mercury pollution of the water is a powerful reminder of the importance of protecting our water from industrial pollution. We cannot protect ourselves from industrial pollution; only our government can protect us through appropriate oversight and regulation. Our Legislature is currently considering new rules regulating water pollution from mining operations that will significantly weaken protection of our groundwater. As one example, the new rules, proposed in L.D. 1772, will allow unlimited pollution of groundwater under the “mining area.” Groundwater, however, is not confined, and a point source of pollution can contaminate very large areas. ~ Robyn K. Goshorn, M.D., South Portland
Letter: Belgrade road in bad shape; if brine used, it’s not working
Kennebec Journal - Monday, February 24, 2014 

I read about using brine solution to pretreat roads, “Central Maine towns struggle with road salt addiction,” Feb. 16. The article noted that the town of Belgrade had its contractor use this method. If this method is being used on Point Road, I’d say it is a dismal failure. Give it a couple of good sunny days then parts of it won’t be as slippery. I, for one, am not impressed with this “new method.” ~ Lucretia Hooper, Belgrade
Letter: Restore rights
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 24, 2014 

The Maine House will soon vote on a citizens’ rights bill that received overwhelming, bipartisan approval in 2013. The Democratic-controlled Senate chose not to vote on this bill but carried it over into the 2014 session for further review. The review has been completed. The bill received another “ought to pass.” A mailer recently sent out by the wind industry asks citizens to contact legislators and urge them to vote against LD 616 — this same citizens’ rights bill. This powerful corporate lobby mustn’t be allowed to muddy the waters. ~ Karen Bessey Pease, Lexington Township
Letter: Mining rules
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 24, 2014 

As a resident of the Blue Hill peninsula, I am familiar with two mining sites — one in Blue Hill, the Kerramerican Mine, and the Callahan Mine in Brooksville. Although both mines are quite old — more than 35 years — they continue to be toxic, necessitating monitoring and cleanup funds borne by the taxpayers. For this reason, I am deeply concerned about LD 1772, the proposed metallic mineral mining rules currently being considered by the Maine Legislature. The result of a failed process at the Board of Environmental Protection, LD 1772 could allow mines in Maine to pollute groundwater and the environment for generations to come. The Legislature should reject LD 1772. ~ Siri Beckman, Stonington
Letter: Environment jeopardized
Sun Journal - Monday, February 24, 2014 

The Maine Legislature will soon vote on the Board of Environmental Protection's final version of rules relating to open pit mining in Maine. While mining companies make promises of many jobs and minimal impacts, the industry is notorious for massive problems with pollution and for companies that go bankrupt, leaving taxpayers with the cleanup costs. I am opposed to these rules, LD 1772, and hope to preserve Maine's true economic engine, her natural treasures. ~ MaryAnn Larson, New Gloucester
Letter: Environment jeopardized
Sun Journal - Monday, February 24, 2014 

The Maine Legislature will soon vote on the Board of Environmental Protections final version of rules relating to open pit mining in Maine. I am opposed to these rules, LD 1772, and hope to preserve Maine's true economic engine, her natural treasures. ~ MaryAnn Larson, New Gloucester
Dartmouth study suggests clearcutting and ‘snow farming’ as global warming mitigation
Summit Voice - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

A recent study by researchers at Darthmouth College suggests that replacing forests with snow-covered meadows may provide greater climatic and economic benefits than if slow-growing trees are left standing in snowy high latitudes. In those areas, persistent snow cover reflects heat back into space, partially offsetting the effect of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Dartmouth College research associate Dave Lutz said, “We are about to run a series of model runs that will help elucidate these borders in a much more fine-scale way (for New Hampshire). It is important to remember, too, that there are other factors that are important when thinking about cutting forests down — biodiversity, providing hydrological regulation services, cultural and aesthetic values."
USDA farming census: Maine has more young farmers, more land in farms
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

Maine may be the oldest state, but it certainly attracts an outsized crop of young farmers, according to preliminary statistics released last week from the United States Department of Agriculture’s 2012 census. The number of farmers aged 34 and younger grew by nearly 40 percent in the five years from 2007 to 2012, the last time the USDA did a comprehensive agriculture census. That growth surge — from 396 to 551 young farmers — far surpassed the 1.5 percent increase in the numbers of young farmers in the United States as a whole.
Sea urchin fishery shows low bounce
Ellsworth American - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and the Sea Urchin Zone Council are struggling to devise a fisheries management plan that will conserve another depleted resource without destroying the state’s sixth most valuable fishery. With little more than a month to go in the Zone 2, Eastern Maine, urchin season, there appears to be little doubt that the fishery needs help.
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