Here are 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.
August 26, 2021
This year’s Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging law was a big step in the right direction for recycling in Maine. And now, some more good news for Maine’s recycling market: prices and demand for materials increased this year.
This week we celebrated the fifth anniversary of establishment of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, and the Bangor Daily News did, too, with this editorial.
NRCM and our partners continue to work to restore the Kennebec River between Waterville and Skowhegan. Watch this recent Fox Bangor news story about why four dams on the river need to be removed.
August 19, 2021
City councilors in Ellsworth, near Acadia National Park, recently approved a three-year lease of two electric vehicles for the city to add to their fleet. They did this through Efficiency Maine.
Speaking of electric cars, the Roberts Farm Preserve in Norway will use a grant from the State Economic & Infrastructure Development Investment Program to create 4 electric vehicle charging station spots and 72 total parking spaces as they begin a four-phase project, which will become an agricultural and environmental center.
And before we leave the topic of electric vehicle, we encourage you to read Bangor City Councilor Sarah Nichols’ (not to be confused with our Sarah Nichols, NRCM’s Sustainable Maine Director) op-ed in support of Maine leading the way on electric cars.
Another Maine city, Biddeford, in southern Maine’s York County, is preparing their plans for climate and increasingly hot temperatures, as well as how to reduce heat buildup due to climate change and climbing temps. Read more in this Bangor Daily News story.
NRCM and other nonprofits have worked for many years to clean up the Penobscot River. HoltraChem, a chemical plant on the river in Orrington now owned by Mallinckrodt US LLC, polluted the river with mercury for many years. Now, Mallinckrodt, the Maine People’s Alliance, and the Natural Resources Defense Council have a proposed settlement in court. Now through September 21st, the public can submit written comments about this settlement. Learn how to submit your comments.
Wolfden Resources, which has already proposed a mine near Baxter State Park and the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, now wants to do some test drilling at another site in Washington County. NRCM strongly opposes Wolfden’s proposed mine at Pickett Mountain and helped the Maine Legislature pass the strongest mining protections of any state in the country a few years ago. Learn about this proposed drilling site in Pembroke.
August 12, 2021
Take a minute to read today’s Bangor Daily News op-ed by two Maine Climate Councilors (one is chair of the Millinocket Town Council, the other is executive director f the Maine Council on Aging) about how investment in cleaner transportation and renewable energy will result in benefits for Mainers’ health, our economy, and our way of life.
This week’s good news is the ruling by Maine’s Superior Court that vacated the lease on Maine Public Land to Central Maine Power for their controversial transmission line. Read more about this decision in the Portland Press Herald. As a result of this week’s ruling, opponents of the corridor have asked the Department of Environmental Protection to stop construction of the line.
Buxton is the latest Maine town to approve a solar farm. This new farm will provide enough power for 4,922 homes and crate 100 local construction jobs starting in 2022.
Bangor will start construction on a new multi-use trail to the Kenduskeag Stream, allowing for foot and bike traffic from Ohio Street to the downtown area.
Also this week, both of Maine’s US Senators, Susan Collins and Angus King, wrote op-eds in support of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and how it will help Maine, that passed in the US Senate this week.
The United Nations released their climate change report this week, and Maine environmental groups, including NRCM, responded to the report. NRCM’s new Climate & Clean Energy Director Jack Shapiro is quoted in this Maine Public story.
August 5, 2021
NRCM CEO Lisa Pohlmann and NRCM Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim wrote a recent op-ed to share the great news of many legislative victories for Maine’s environment during the 2021 session. Read the full-op-ed in the Portland Press Herald.
The Conway Daily Sun is the most recent media outlet to report on Maine’s new first-in-the-nation Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging law. NRCM’s Sarah Nichols is quoted at the end of the article.
York, Maine, along the southern coast of the state, has volunteers who are working to keep microplastics out of the town’s beaches.