Read some highlights from this month’s news stories and opinion pieces related to the environment, including Maine’s air, land, water, and wildlife, in this month’s News & Noteworthy from the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
April 29, 2021
Maine’s electric car charging infrastructure took another step forward this week with the first phase of Efficiency Maine’s high-speed EV charging network now complete.
The U.S. Senate voted today to reverse the Trump Administration’s rollback of important methane rules. We are thankful that Maine’s U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King both supported this reversal. Read a Washington Post editorial from earlier in the week about this vote, which they said, “might be the Senate’s most important climate vote ever.”
In more federal news, the new Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, shares in this Outside news piece, that public lands in the United States should represent all Americans. She plans to listen to historically underrepresented communities as she makes plans for America’s public lands.
NRCM, Environment Maine, and others oppose the continued use of neonicotinoids, which are an insecticide that can cause harm to bees. There is currently a bill in the Maine Legislature to ban their use. Learn more in this recent news story.
Paige Emerson shares her inspiring story of getting out to enjoy all that Maine’s outdoors has to offer. She started an Instagram account (@chubbyhikerreviews) to share great hikes and trails with her followers. Read more in this WABI-TV story.
And to end this week’s News & Noteworthy on a high note, the first community solar project in Gardiner went online this week. Congrats to Gardiner!
April 22, 2021
Mainers paraded through Old Town this week to protest the loophole in Maine law that allows toxic out-of-state waste to be dumped at State-owned landfills like the one at Juniper Ridge. If you want legislators to close this loophole, sign our petition.
The City of Portland received $125,000 this week in support of city parks. Read more in this Portland Press Herald news story.
NRCM CEO Lisa Pohlmann is quoted in this Portland Press Herald article about Hannaford’s announcement this week that it will no longer send any of its food waste to landfills.
Todd Martin, NRCM’s grassroots outreach coordinator, is quoted in this Sun Journal piece about how to make every day Earth Day.
A bill is being discussed in the Legislature that would ban aerial spraying of certain herbicides over forestlands. Read more about the public hearing and debate in this Maine Monitor story.
Senator Susan Collins this week announced her support of undoing a Trump Administration rollback of important regulations for methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide.
April 15, 2021
Recycling in Maine has had a rough few years. Read about how it is starting to get back on track. One of the reasons recycling in Maine is not going as well as it should is because of the lack of good data. Join NRCM in our work to reform recycling in Maine and see how your town can get involved. NRCM and Maine are not alone in wanting to pass Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging laws. Read about which other states are also working to pass EPR laws.
It took a long time to pass important solar legislation at the Maine Legislature, but since that happened in 2019, there has been $100 million in solar investments! Read more from the Portland Press Herald.
There has been a lot of concerning news about pollution by “forever chemicals” in Maine over the past several months. But now there is work at the federal and state levels to push for stricter limits on PFAS chemicals.
Some great news for mountain biking enthusiasts: the state has amended the plan for Little Moose Mountain in the Moosehead Lake region to allow 25 miles of mountain bike trails. Read more from the Bangor Daily News.
Planning trips to Maine’s state parks, campgrounds, or Acadia National Park? Acadia is coming off its busiest winter ever while campgrounds at Maine’s state parks are filling up quickly for the summer. Learn more and make your plans soon before you miss out.
While most people know that the Land for Maine’s Future program protects public lands for people to enjoy, did you also know it protects working waterfronts, crucial for many Maine industries. Read more in this op-ed from the Island Institute.
April 8, 2021
Maine’s Public Utilities Commission announced this week that it would be looking into how Central Maine Power handled the increase in solar projects that need to be connected to the grid, including CMP’s projecting high costs for those projects. NRCM’s Sue Ely is quoted in this story by the Associated Press.
WGME-13 spoke with NRCM’s Kristin Jackson and Tom Madden of Lone Pine Brewing and the Maine Brewshed Alliance to learn how Maine breweries are working, along with NRCM, to protect Maine’s clean water through the Brewshed Alliance and other initiatives.
Did you order a lot of items online during the pandemic? Read this op-ed in the New York Times to learn about the overuse of plastic by Amazon and others, and why these companies don’t need to be using so much single-use plastic packaging. Then find out how you can help Maine reform recycling.
Hear from NRCM’s Nick Bennett and others in this Revelator article about saving Atlantic salmon in the Kennebec River.
Maine businesses are finding new, creative ways to be more eco-friendly. Read more in this Bangor Daily News piece.
And finally, this week, learn more from the Sun Journal about NRCM’s former advocacy communications director, Judy Berk, and what she is doing during her retirement to continue to protect Maine’s environment.
April 1, 2021
Thank you to WABI-TV in Bangor for sharing news of our annual Citizen Action Day, which happened on Tuesday, March 30th.
The Maine Legislature is discussing two bills that would make mass balloon releases considered litter, with fines for anyone found participating in this activity. NRCM supports this change to Maine law. You can read our testimony on both bills (LD 618 and LD 1023) on our Legislative Bill Tracking page.
Today we celebrate and thank Matt LaRouche as he retires after more than a decade as the Superintendent of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, and more than four decades serving Maine people. Thank you, Matt! (Note: NRCM was founded by concerned citizens around the issue of protecting the Allagash!)
The Bangor Daily News reported on our lawsuit to stop CMP’s controversial proposed transmission line through Western Maine.