September 17, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, September 17, 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
The Ecology of the Heath, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Naturalist Fred Cichocki will describe the ecology of the 12-acre heath at Cathance Rive Nature Preserve in Topsham and other sphagnum moss wetlands. At Topsham Public Library, September 24, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
LUPC to Hold Public Meeting on Approved Fish River Lakes Concept Plan, Sep 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

The Maine Land Use Planning Commission staff will hold an open house and public meeting regarding the Fish River Chain of Lakes Concept Plan. At Caribou Inn and Convention Center, September 25, Open House 6 pm; Public Meeting 6:30 pm.
Oppose CMP's transmission corridor
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Ask Maine’s Congressional delegation to urge the Army Corps for an Environmental Impact Statement and public hearing on Central Maine Power’s proposal for a transmission corridor through Western Maine. ~ Nick Bennett, NRCM
No logging in the Tongass National Forest
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

The Amazon is burning, yet Donald Trump wants to open the world's largest intact temperate forest to mining and logging exploitation. He is opening 10 million acres in the Tongass National Forest to brutal exploitation. Tongass retains more carbon than any forest in the U.S., provides habitat for iconic wild creatures and contains old-growth trees as much as 1,000 years old. Don't let Trump destroy it. ~ CREDO Action
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.
Guided Canoe Trip with Ryan Linehan, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Delve into themes of industry, waterways, and the environment, with conversation in art galleries and on the Messalonskee River. At Colby Colby Museum of Art, Waterville, September 22, 12-4 pm, pre-registration required.
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.
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.
Common Ground Country Fair, Sep 20-22
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 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.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Sep 20-21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

At L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Freeport, September 20, 6:30 pm, food trucks; 7:15 pm, Maine Outdoor Film Festival. September 21, 10 am - 4 pm, climbing, biking, talks, exhibits. Free but donations benefit Teens To Trails.
Climate Strike, Sep 20-27
Action Alert - Friday, September 13, 2019 

It’s time to build a renewable energy economy that works for everyone. Join in the streets September 20 and the week after to demand climate justice for all.
• Portland City Hall, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Bowdoin Art Museum steps, Brunswick, Sep 29, 10 am
• Meetinghouse gazebo, Farmington, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Longley Square Park, Norway, Sep 20, 4:30 pm
• Sidewalk at Main and Temple St, Waterville, Sep 20, 4 pm
• Front of Bangor High School, Sep 20, 11 am
• Resistance Corner, Downtown Belfast, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Bar Harbor Village Green, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Dike on Route 1, Machias, Sep 20, 1:30 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.
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News Items
Maine Lobstermen's Association Withdraws Initial Support On Controversial Gear Rules
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

The Maine Lobstermen's Association says it is reversing its initial support for a proposal to reduce the risk that lobster-fishing gear will entangle critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. This spring, the MLA delegation to a federal panel agreed to a proposal that would reduce by 60 percent the lobster industry's contribution to the whale's risk of injury or death. That consensus agreement won approval from a wide array of stakeholders. The proposal is now the subject of a federal rulemaking process and could mean that Maine lobstermen will be forced to remove half of their trap-rope from the water and reduce the number of traps they fish. Now some previous supporters of the prospect have changed their minds.
Democratic candidates unveil sweeping climate proposals ahead of CNN town hall
CNN - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

A series of top Democratic presidential candidates have released sweeping plans to combat climate change over the last two weeks, putting the issue front and center ahead of CNN's climate crisis town halls on Wednesday night. Although the overarching themes of each plan are similar—all candidates lay out how they believe combating climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the country—there are marked differences within each proposal, as the candidates compete to distinguish themselves as the most focused and most willing to spend trillions to stop and reverse global warming.
Whole Oceans adds processing facility to its plans for an Atlantic salmon farm in Bucksport
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

The company planning to build an Atlantic salmon farm at the former Verso Paper site announced on Tuesday plans to construct a fish processing facility across town that would employ 40 to 50 workers. Speaking hours before the Bucksport Planning Board approved a local building permit for Whole Oceans’ proposed $180 million fish farm, CEO Jacob Bartlett said his company plans to process grown salmon for wholesale and retail sales at the Buckstown Heritage Industrial Park within four years — in addition to raising the fish at the former paper mill site.
Summit to Shore: A Look at Maine’s Climate Research, Part 1
WVFX Fox Bangor - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

From the shores to the summits, Maine has a lot to offer, but the views as we know them are changing. Climate change researchers say current warming conditions are alarming. That’s why a team of researchers from the University of Maine made their way to the Himalayas to take a look at the earth’s history.
Golden Skeptical of Trump Rollbacks on Light Bulb Efficiency Standards
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

The Trump Administration has announced new rules to roll back energy efficiency standards for light bulbs that were set to take effect in January. But, 2nd District Congressman Jared Golden says he doubts the move will have much of an effect on the industry or the public. “I’m skeptical that the industry will follow, because consumers want more energy efficient light bulbs,” he says. “They want to pay less for their energy, not more. I don’t see consumers clamoring for less efficient light bulbs, any more than they were clamoring for less efficient, fuel efficient cars,” says Golden. “And so while he rolled back fuel efficiency standards, I don’t see the auto industry rushing to follow him down that road.”
Maine backs away from whale rules
Gloucester (MA) Daily Times - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

The Maine Lobstermen's Association, citing flawed data from NOAA Fisheries and other fishing threats to North Atlantic right whales, is withdrawing its support for the right whale protection plan that it says unfairly targets the Northeast lobster industry. The move by the nation's largest lobster trade group is the most recent example of mounting pushback from Maine state officials and lobster stakeholders to the plan approved by the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team. It could force a review of the plan and the process that led to it.
BikeMaine event bringing 450 cyclists to Waterville this weekend
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

Head of Falls in Waterville is set to be transformed this weekend into a bike village for 450 cyclists and more than 100 volunteers for the start of the 7th annual BikeMaine event. The cyclists, 339 of whom come from out of state, will take off on their 324.6 mile ride from the banks of the Kennebec River around the midcoast at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. Along their six-day journey, the riders will roll through 35 towns and will return to Head of Falls on Saturday, Sept. 14. The ride has brought about $3 million to Maine since its inauguration in 2012. The ride was started to promote Maine as a bicycling destination and to use that as an economic development tool for the state’s communities.
Top Interior official who pushed to expand drilling in Alaska to join oil company there
Washington Post - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

Last summer, Scott Pruitt left his job heading the Environmental Protection Agency and within a few months had started consulting for coal magnate Joseph W. Craft III. Three weeks after leaving the Interior Department, energy counselor Vincent DeVito joined Cox Oil Offshore, which operates in the Gulf of Mexico, as its executive vice president and general counsel. Now, Joe Balash – who oversaw oil and gas drilling on federal lands before resigning from Interior on Friday – is joining a foreign oil company that’s expanding operations on Alaska’s North Slope.
Williamson suggests using ‘power of the mind’ to change hurricane’s course; Trump wants to nuke storms
Washington Post - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson offered an unorthodox suggestion Wednesday to will Hurricane Dorian elsewhere. “Millions of us seeing Dorian turn away from land is not a wacky idea," she tweeted. Late last month, Axios reported that President Donald Trump had suggested repeatedly to Homeland Security and other officials that they explore using nuclear weapons to disrupt hurricanes that were heading toward the United States. Trump has denied making such a suggestion.
Public advocate’s study of high bills blames CMP’s meter and billing systems
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

The state’s utilities watchdog will present a report to regulators Friday that says Central Maine Power’s meter and billing systems continue to suffer from multiple defects that are leading to errors on customer bills, contradicting an analysis released Tuesday by the staff of the Public Utilities Commission. The PUC staff’s analysis found that high electric bills experienced by thousands of customers in the winter of 2017-18 were directly linked to high usage in cold weather, not technical problems with CMP’s new billing system. The PUC staff didn’t wait for the results of a meter-testing study being completed this week.
Opinion: Trump’s crucial decision on nuclear power
Washington Post - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

In the ongoing mash-up of the tragic and the trifling that is the modern news cycle, one crucial story getting far too little attention is President Donald Trump’s effort to revive the U.S. nuclear power industry. The nuclear fuel cycle is vital to our nation in terms of the power that nuclear energy can provide (without which there is no hope for significant reductions in carbon output) and the security guaranteed by our nuclear weapons. If people are serious about significant slowing of carbon emissions, they have to be for safe nuclear power production. If they are serious about maintenance of our nuclear deterrent, they have to be for domestic production and enrichment of uranium. Yet both are imperiled by neglect. ~ Hugh Hewitt, Nixon Foundation
Snorkeling in Maine is like ‘going through the looking glass’ to find a fascinating new world
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

Lobsters, giant fish, snapping turtles and sunken ships. Maine’s underwater world is filled with wonders, according to those who snorkel. A niche activity in the Northeast, snorkeling is fairly easy to learn. The equipment required — a mask, snorkel and fins — is inexpensive and low tech. And given the region’s numerous lakes, rivers and ocean coves, there are many places to explore.
As the Gulf of Maine warms, Mainers are seeing more tropical ocean sunfish
Mount Desert Islander - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

Ask a boat cruise naturalist, or just about anyone else who spends time on the water, and he or she will tell you that Mola mola sightings are on the rise this summer. “I had 10 the other day,” said naturalist Bill Townsend. “We usually see one or two,” he said. “They lay on their side because they’re tropical fish, and they lay in the sun,” he said. That behavior earned the species its common name, ocean sunfish. Bar Harbor naturalist and educator Megan McOsker agreed. “Yes, there are more Mola mola sightings in the Gulf of Maine. This goes along with a greater presence of one of their major foods, jellyfish. Our warming waters are making it harder for some species to thrive,” she said, “and expanding ranges of some species.”
Woolwich bucks trend, votes to continue support of CMP corridor
Times Record - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

The Woolwich Select Board voted Tuesday not to withdraw a letter in support of Central Maine Power’s proposed 145-mile transmission line that would send hydropower from Canada to Massachusetts. Selectmen Allen Greene, Jason Shaw and Chairman David King Sr. voted not to rescind the town’s support, while two other members, Dale Chadbourne and Allison Hepler, voted to rescind. The vote was the result of urging from the public at the board’s Aug. 19 meeting to rescind a letter the board wrote in 2017 in support of the proposed transmission line. So far in Maine, 17 of the 38 municipalities the transmission line would pass through have voted to oppose the project or rescinded their earlier support.
Top Interior official who pushed to expand drilling in Alaska to join oil company there
Washington Post - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

Last summer, Scott Pruitt left his job heading the Environmental Protection Agency and within a few months had started consulting for coal magnate Joseph W. Craft III. Three weeks after leaving the Interior Department, energy counselor Vincent DeVito joined Cox Oil Offshore, which operates in the Gulf of Mexico, as its executive vice president and general counsel. Now, Joe Balash – who oversaw oil and gas drilling on federal lands before resigning from Interior on Friday – is joining a foreign oil company that’s expanding operations on Alaska’s North Slope.
Maine Forest Society does lots of great things
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

My friend Karin Tilberg and I have a lot in common. Karin is executive director of the Forest Society of Maine. We both recognize Maine’s incredible forest resource for its economic contributions, recreational opportunities, history, and beauty/spiritual solace. We have worked together over the years to find pathways to bring meaningful conservation to Maine’s great North Woods. Today I want to share with you some impressive information about the forest society of Maine.
Letter: Maybe it’s time for Maine to reconsider fluoridated water
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

Out of 130 Maine cities and towns that added fluoride to their public water supplies, the seven towns in the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport & Wells Water District are the only towns that reconsidered the referendum, “Should fluoride be added to the public water for the intended purpose of preventing tooth decay?” The referendum was voted down in the 2016 general election by a 2-1 margin. Perhaps it’s time for a state law mandating voters to reconsider mandating our utilities to add toxins to the drinking water we use to prepare our food and craft our brews. ~ Alec Ferguson, Kennebunkport
Choose from two dozen Maine apple orchards
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, September 3, 2019 

These orchards in southern, western and central Maine have more than just apple-picking.
Crews remove Mill Street Dam in Lisbon
Sun Journal - Tuesday, September 3, 2019 

Workers fro DEP, Marine Resources, DOT and NRC have been working together to clean up hazardous materials and remove the Mill Street Dam in Lisbon in an effort to return the river to it's original flow in hopes that salmon will once again return to the river. Workers from Linkel Construction of Topsham were at the site Tuesday using heavy equipment to create natural pools that will act as fish ladders. It is the first in a series of projects that are looking at removing several more dams up river as well.
Lobstermen’s group pulls its support for proposal to protect right whales
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 3, 2019 

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association is withdrawing its support for a proposed right whale protection plan, claiming it was rushed into voting in favor of major fishing restrictions without adequate time to review the science behind the plan. Upon review, the state’s largest lobstering trade group expressed its displeasure with the plan, saying it is based on error-prone data, untested science and documentation that is biased against the lobster industry.
Column: Will Hurricane Dorian Impact Maine Birds?
Wiscasset Newspaper - Tuesday, September 3, 2019 

The Bahamas are one of the most important wintering areas for piping plovers, a species that nests along our southern Maine beaches. We hope that most of them had not yet arrived in the Bahamas, but many piping plovers that nest or migrate through the beach habitats of the coast of the U.S. will have to feel the impact of Dorian. ~ Jeffrey V. Wells and Allison Childs Wells
Public advocate calls for $1 million fine and 1-year license suspension for Electricity Maine
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 3, 2019 

The Maine Public Advocate’s Office is asking state regulators to fine Electricity Maine at least $1 million and suspend its operating license for a year, saying the energy provider engaged in fraudulent and deceptive marketing practices.
Every Maine Lighthouse Ranked
Down East - Tuesday, September 3, 2019 

A categorical (and categorically tongue-in-cheek) run-down of all 65 of Maine's beloved coastal beacons.
Integrated collection may be the future of recycling
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 3, 2019 

Since the 1970s, recycling has attempted to tackle the ever-increasing piles of trash in landfills by turning waste into new materials. The system has proven far from perfect over the last half century, however, with languidly increasing rates of recovered material compared with the ballooning tons of trash produced. In order to address such challenges, the future of recycling may hinge on a new approach called integrated collection. Coastal Resources of Maine utilizes such an integrated collection system. Their Hampden facility is the first of its kind to integrate single-stream collection with a variety of processing technologies from a company called Fiberight.
Opinion: Forget Greenland. A far more dangerous game is being played in the Arctic.
Washington Post - Tuesday, September 3, 2019 

While President Trump’s interest in buying Greenland grabbed headlines recently, there’s a much more serious territorial issue in the Arctic: Russia’s next chess move aimed at asserting ownership of the North Pole. As the year-round sea ice continues to melt for the first time in more than 100,000 years, critical shorter shipping routes are opening. Vast valuable resources are in the Arctic region, such as rare earth minerals needed for modern electronics; there are also significant oil and natural gas deposits and the rich Arctic fisheries. The United States should join the Law of the Sea convention as a full participant so that we not only have a powerful seat at the table, but also so that we can assert our own claims to an extended continental shelf in the Arctic region and elsewhere off our coasts. ~ John Englander
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