June 19, 2019  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Tall Tales, Fish Tails, & Damn Lies, Jun 27
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 20, 2019 

Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries will hold a night of music and words from a fishing community with performances and story-telling by Frank Gotwals, Dennis Damon, Bob Quinn and many more. At Stonington Opera House, June 27, 6:30 pm. Proceeds benefit a sustainable future for local fisheries and communities.
Can environmental action be good for business? Jun 27
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 20, 2019 

An informal policy and issue-based discussions held at local businesses over coffee or beer. Speakers: Kristan Porter, Maine Lobstermen's Association; Abe Furth, Orono Brewing Company; Brad Ryder, Epic Sports. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 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
Save Right Whales
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

New England’s iconic whale is on the brink of extinction. A bill in Congress called Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered (“SAVE”) Right Whales could help this key species recover. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Water: What is has to teach us, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Learn about fresh water ecosystems and new aquaculture operations in the MidCoast region. At Topsham Public Library, June 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Proposed Coyote Center, Jun 24
Event - Posted - Monday, June 17, 2019 

Biologist Geri Vistein will share an informative film about the future Coyote Center in Maine, followed by a discussion of Maine’s coyotes. At Lithgow Public Library, Augusta, June 24, 6:30 pm.
Teen Wilderness Expedition, July 23-25
Announcement - Sunday, June 16, 2019 

The Teen Wilderness Expedition is a 3-day, 2-night, all-inclusive adventure for 12-16 year olds at Little Lyford Lodge, July 23-25. Offered by Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Appalachian Mountain Club.
Maine State Museum hosts Bike Day, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join the Maine State Museum, Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine State Library in a free family event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and learn about the benefits of safe, relaxed bike riding. At Maine State Museum, June 22, 10 am - 1 pm.
Woodland Management with Birds in Mind, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A Forestry for Maine Birds workshop for landowners, foresters and loggers interested in learning how they can support Maine’s forest songbirds. At Somerset County Cooperative Extension office, Skowhegan, and on the adjacent Yankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest, June 22, 9 am - noon.
Hike Puzzle Mt., Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A moderate to strenuous hike of 8.5 miles. Cross several exposed granite boulders and ledges offering views of the Sunday River ski area, Grafton Notch, and the Presidentials, June 22, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Androscoggin River Canoe & Kayak River Race, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

This event is open to all to launch canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, (and more) into the Androscoggin River and complete one of three courses of varying length and challenge. At Festival Plaza, Auburn, June 22, 9 am, $15 for single paddler, $25 for a double, benefits Androscoggin Land Trust.
Plants of Corea Heath, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join Jill Weber, botanist and co-author of The Plants of Acadia National Park, to learn about carnivorous plants, orchids, stunted trees and shrubs and cotton-grass. At Corea Heath, Goldsboro, June 22, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Maine Wildlife Park open house, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Friday, June 14, 2019 

The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray will hold an open house with free admission, June 21, 5-8 pm. Feeding times for moose, lynx, foxes, cougars, vultures and bears will be posted.
Call for a presidential primary debate on climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has rejected a presidential primary debate on climate change. 15 Democratic presidential candidates have joined the call. So can you. ~ CREDO Action
Trekking through Time
Announcement - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

From June through October, Lakes Environmental Association, Loon Echo Land Trust, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust will host the Trekking through Time Series. Once a month throughout the summer and early fall, each organization will host a historical tour of one of its conservation properties.
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News Items
Tax lien on former Millinocket mill torpedoes plan for $30 million factory
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

An old federal tax lien against Millinocket’s former paper mill site will keep a North Carolina firm from launching a $30 million factory there to produce a composite wood product that can replace steel in high-rise building construction. LignaTerra Global LLC of Charlotte had planned the 300,000 square foot factory to produce cross-laminated timber at the legendary former Great Northern Paper Co. mill site, which is now owned by the volunteer economic development group Our Katahdin. But the unresolved lien makes building the plant in Millinocket unwise, said Brien Walton, of Acadia Capital Management II, Inc., which is helping LignaTerra arrange the project’s financing.
Augusta councilors to vote on cutting recycling sites
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

Come Thursday, the city might lose two of its recycling collection points. Augusta city councilors are expected to vote on whether to eliminate bins at two locations, an option raised after continued contamination of the recycling containers located at Augusta City Center and the police station.
Blue Hill Heritage Trust closes on purchase of high visibility project in Caterpillar Hill Project
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

Blue Hill Heritage Trust in a collaborative fundraising effort with Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Island Heritage Trust, has purchased a critical 32 acres of land after a two-decade effort to save the spectacular views from Caterpillar Hill in Sedgwick. “This is an iconic place on our peninsula, and we are thrilled to conserve more of it for the public,” says Hans Carlson, Blue Hill Heritage Trust’s executive director.
Governor's Award for Business Excellence
Maine Government News - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

Maine Governor Paul LePage today presented several Maine companies with a 2018 Governor's Award for Business Excellence, including:
• Sappi North America - A market leader in converting wood fiber into products used worldwide.
• Sea Bags - The company designs and manufactures a diverse line of totes, bags, and home goods, all made in Maine from recycled sails.
• Main-Land Development Consultants - A land consulting company providing engineering, land surveying, and environmental sciences to land owners and municipalities.
Maine facilities improve hazardous waste management and protect health and safety
Other - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

A Maine tannery has agreed to come into compliance with state and federal hazardous waste laws and to pay a penalty of $48,000 to settle claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it violated these laws at its facility in Hartland. Another Maine company, GVS North America of Sanford, also recently came into compliance with state and federal hazardous waste laws and agreed to pay a penalty of $63,036 to settle charges of violations of hazardous waste regulations by EPA's New England office.
Portland Unveils Solar Array At Landfill Site
Maine Public - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

Portland is one step closer to achieving its goal of running entirely on renewable energy by 2040. The city recently completed construction and began use of a solar array that sits atop the capped Ocean Avenue landfill. The project unfolded over a number of years and faced some controversy resulting from the condition of the landfill before the array was installed. o meet its goals, the city also built an array at the Riverside Golf Course and another on the Portland Jetport parking structure. The project has prompted some renewable energy advocates to call on incoming Maine Gov. Janet Mills to push for more investment in solar at the state level.
EXCLUSIVE: Maine Fish & Wildlife head chosen
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

According to sources close to the transition team coordinating hires for Gov.-elect Janet Mills, Judy Camuso has been chosen to head up the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. Camuso has been the director of wildlife for the department since 2013 and has been with the agency since 2007. She started her career at Maine Audubon as an environmental center director. Her nomination as commissioner of MDIFW requires confirmation by the Maine Senate. However, that is considered a sure bet since Democrats will control both houses of the Maine Legislature. Camuso would be the first woman to lead the fish and wildlife department in its history.
Solar project on Portland landfill site now generating power
WGME-TV13 - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

A solar park planned for Portland’s Ocean Avenue landfill is finally up and running. The facility is the third city-owned solar project in Portland. Officials say the solar array has more than 2,800 panels that will produce 1.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year. It’s all part of a plan for Portland to be running on 100 percent renewables by 2040.
Opinion: We have two years to avoid climate disaster. A carbon fee and dividend will help.
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

According to U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres the world has only two years to change course and avoid catastrophic climate change. His warning is in response to the report to the United Nations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which found that “limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C would require ‘rapid and far-reaching’ transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities. As President Donald Trump loosens regulations on fossil fuels use and threatens to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, the odds seem slim that the U.S. will respond to these warnings. But there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 7173) would impose a fee on carbon fuels at the country’s mines, wells and ports. The money would be returned to citizens in the form of per capita dividends. ~ Michael Howard
An Epidemic Is Killing Thousands Of Coal Miners. Regulators Could Have Stopped It
National Public Radio - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

For decades, government regulators had evidence of excessive and toxic mine dust exposures that can cause progressive massive fibrosis (black lung disease). They knew that miners were likely to become sick and die. They were urged to take specific and direct action to stop it. But they didn't. It's an "epidemic" and "clearly one of the worst industrial medicine disasters that's ever been described," said Scott Laney, an epidemiologist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. David Zatezalo, a former coal company executive and industry lobbyist, now heads the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. He has no plan to address a tougher limit for silica dust or separate regulation of silica in coal mines. In the meantime, the PMF epidemic continues.
Column: The farm bill could do more for animals than any legislation in recent history
Washington Post - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

For people who support the humane treatment of animals, including those that end up on America’s dinner plates, passage of the farm bill would be a grand bipartisan gesture. In large part, the pro-animal provisions are thanks to the unstoppable Wayne Pacelle, former CEO of the Humane Society of the US and now part of Animal Wellness Action. One provision is a crackdown on dogfighting and cockfighting in the five U.S. territories. Another reform is a ban on dog and cat meat in the U.S. The bill also includes a commitment to add animal shelters at domestic violence centers, reasoning that pets are also at risk in violent households. Perhaps the most important feature of the bill is the elimination of the King Amendment, which would have allowed states to scrap regulations banning such cruel practices as confining an animal so that it can’t move or turn around — ever. ~ Kathleen Parker
Portland City Council Approves 6-Month Moratorium On Working Waterfront Development
Maine Public - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

Under threat of a citizen referendum that could shut down non-marine-related development on Portland’s waterfront for decades, the Portland City Council has unanimously approved a 6-month moratorium on development in the zone. It also approved creation of a task force to try to solve traffic congestion and other access issues that led fishermen to seek the referendum in the first place.
Maine Conservation Programs From York To Aroostook Get Help
Associated Press - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

The Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program, which uses state and federal money for competitive grants, is dedicating nearly $1.5 million to projects designed to restore and protect wetlands in the state. Recipients of this round of grants include Friends of Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, and Frenchman Bay Conservancy. The fund was started to offset unavoidable impacts to protected natural areas that arise because of development projects. The grants fund restoration and preservation of similar resources. The program has funded more than 100 projects in Maine since 2009.
Conservation group to buy 17 acres in latest effort to preserve Hancock County shoreline
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

A $94,500 grant will allow a nonprofit conservancy to buy shoreline in Hancock County along some of the most pristine areas of Taunton Bay, officials from the conservancy said Monday. Deemed an area of statewide ecological significance, the 17-acre stretch along Hog Bay off Franklin that Frenchman Bay Conservancy plans to purchase has mudflats that are a vital habitat for waterfowl, particularly terns and upland sandpipers, said Kat Deely, the conservancy’s land protection manager.
Surge in injured owls tied to abundance of their favorite food – rodents
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

Wildlife rehabilitation centers in Maine are seeing a significant increase in the number of owls that have been injured by vehicles and believe the spike stems from the boom in the state’s population of squirrels and other rodents. In the past six weeks, the Center for Wildlife in York admitted 12 injured owls, roughly as many as the center sees in an entire winter.
Opinion: Remember how great it is to live, work in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

I’ve been reading about how businesses in Maine have been trying to come up with ways to attract workers to the state and keep them here. After two decades on Wall Street, I can tell you no one ever had a minute to spare. Maine is an easy place to find a community. From trap shooting and bird hunting, to hiking in the most beautiful country – I’ve been able to enjoy all of these activities here, and easily find other people who love to do them, as well. Whenever I reflect on my decision to live and work in Maine, I consider the clean air and fresh produce, the light traffic and easy commute, and how it’s a great place to raise a family. As I consider what businesses and lawmakers could do to attract and retain talent in Maine, I’d start by organizing partnerships between employers and upperclassmen in our colleges. ~ Steve Rosacea, vice president, TD Bank, South Portland
Opinion: Editorial lacked insight on CMP’s power line proposal
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

A good energy policy begins with conservation. Find efficiencies that reduce the use of energy, winterize homes, use LED light bulbs, subsidize energy-efficient appliances and promote small-scale clean-energy alternatives. Huge centralized power projects are not the most effective way to combat climate change. They are the most effective path to profits for large and powerful corporations. Imagine if the billion dollars that Massachusetts is investing in Hydro-Quebec were instead invested in local energy conservation and small-scale production. We cannot expect to save the planet by destroying what precious little natural environment we have left. Massachusetts should be able to produce its own power in its own state without sacrificing rural Maine. ~ Jan Collins, East Wilton
Letter: Augusta shouldn’t eliminate recycling bins
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

I read the article on the Augusta City Council seeking to remove two recycling points and restrict access to two others. The system is already difficult to use, as they do not empty the bins often enough. Many times I have had to return home with my recycling and try again another day. If they further restrict the access and times I can do this, I will probably have to stop recycling and just put stuff in the trash. I am sure that there are many other people in the city of Augusta that will decide to do the same thing. ~ Jim Wood, Augusta
Letter: Opossums are not pests
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

I am disappointed in the titling of the BDN’s Dec. 14 article, “Meet Maine’s newest winter pest,” on opossums. Though Aislinn Sarnacki’s general tone is balanced, if superficial, to describe them as “pests” in the headline is to invoke bias. Opossums are low-level predators, carry few diseases transmissible to people, and pose no direct threat to people or property. “They aren’t pretty” is a subjective description of their appearance and serves no educational or constructive descriptive purpose, and exacerbates the prejudiced tone of the headline. Many of us live in Maine for the proximity to other species and would prefer to see their differences celebrated, not denigrated. ~ Carol M. Corkran, Livermore Falls
Letter: Tap into proposed CMP line from Canada to lower electricity costs
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

Instead of obsessing over 14 percent price increases and power lines running through Maine from Quebec to Massachusetts, why don’t we tap in to it? Quebec has excess capacity in hydropower. It produces no CO2, is renewable and it’s inexpensive. Why be hostage to CMP’s natural gas story, CO2 and Electricity Maine’s gamesmanship? I say: Make the deal with our neighbors in Quebec. Send our electricity rates down while helping stop global warming. ~ Douglas Posson, Rockport
Letter: Rise up against CMP’s burdensome rate increases
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

Electricity rates for Central Maine Power customers will increase 6.8 percent in 2019. When you are low income, perhaps living on nothing but Social Security – as one-third of Mainers 65 and older do – that extra cost is going to be tough to absorb. This rate increase is coming at a time when CMP has yet to distribute the savings it received under the 2017 federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act directly to customers. Access to electricity should be fair, affordable, accurate and transparent. The experiences that CMP customers have weathered in 2018 and will continue to face in 2019 are anything but that. ~ Karen Evans, AARP Maine, Portland
Blog: Pick up the guide and explore Bangor area
Portland Press Herald - Monday, December 17, 2018 

The brand new, full-color “Bangor Area Trails Map & Guide” captures a treasure trove of hiking and walking possibilities, plus biking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities in Bangor, Brewer, Veazie, Orono and Old Town. From the Kenduskeag Stream to Pushaw Pond and Pushaw Stream to the Penobscot River, the map depicts a whopping 135 miles of trails across 37 parks and preserves. Download a PDF version at bangorgreendrinks.org, pick up a paper copy at EPIC Sports and other select locations around the Bangor area, or get one at a Bangor Greendrinks event the second Tuesday of each month. ~ Carey Kish
Richmond officials move ahead on third junkyard bid
Kennebec Journal - Monday, December 17, 2018 

For the third time, Richmond officials will seek bids from a contractor to clean up a property in town. Richmond Town Manager Adam Garland is expected to start advertising this week for contractors to bid on the job of clearing a list of items from the property of David Smith. Smith’s property of about 100 acres is located in the town’s agricultural zone. On it are vehicles, tanks and scrap items.
Here's What Would Happen If The Government Shuts Down This Week
National Public Radio - Monday, December 17, 2018 

The national park system is expected to remain open in the case of a government shutdown, but visitors centers at the facilities probably wont be. And some iconic sites, including the Statue of Liberty, may be closed altogether. For the National Park Service and many other agencies, funding runs out on Dec. 21 at midnight. That is, unless Congress and the White House resolve their latest spat over funding the federal government. Independent agencies, including NASA, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, will also be closed. President Trump will be out of town during the shutdown, on a 16-day stay at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida.
New England States Fear Increased Mercury Contamination As EPA Considers Weakening Rules
Maine Public - Monday, December 17, 2018 

Scientists are speaking out about what they say have been “remarkable improvements” in curbing mercury emissions under Obama-era regulations that are now under threat by the Trump administration. Mercury is a toxic chemical most commonly associated with coal-burning power plants. Because they are downwind from coal-burning states, Maine and the rest of New England have traditionally had higher-than-average rates of mercury contamination, and scientists say a proposal to weaken emission rules could impede progress.
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