Read the latest 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.
January 28, 2021
Yesterday, President Biden announced a series of climate-related executive orders, and NRCM applauded this effort, which will benefit Maine’s environment and economy. Read more in today’s Maine Public story. You can also read our news release to learn more.
More news about the new Biden-Harris Administration and how they plan to make sure environmental justice is part of their focus in their climate work is featured in a recent Washington Post story.
Jeff Reardon of Trout Unlimited and John Burrows of the Atlantic Salmon Federation wrote a recent op-ed in the Kennebec Journal about the importance of removing four dams on the Kennebec River to restore sea-run fish on the river above Waterville.
Also this week it was announced that Maine’s first community solar project began operation in Monson. Learn more about this project, which will serve Maine homeowners and small business subscribers.
Congratulations to the organizations that received grants to boost projects related to Maine’s environment, including making a Portland park more accessible and a program that helps children from low-income families have more access to outdoor adventure opportunities.
In news about the controversial CMP corridor proposal, a citizens group collected and delivered 100,000 signatures to Maine’s Secretary of State in order to add a referendum question to the ballot to stop the corridor.
Listen to this week’s Maine Environment: Frontline Voices podcast to get thoughts about the week’s news from NRCM’s Colin Durrant and Pete Didisheim.
January 21, 2021
In his first hours in office, President Biden recommitted the United States to the Paris Climate Accord, cancels the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and begins to reverse environmental rollbacks from the previous administration. All good news for the environment! Learn more in this New York Times story.
Speaking of rollbacks, NRCM recently joined in a lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s weak soot standards, which increase public health concerns from air pollution.
And a federal appeals court struck down the Trump Administration’s replacement to the Clean Power Plan. This is great news for clean air!
As food banks work to provide food to more and more people during the pandemic, the Good Shepherd Food Bank had some good news: generous donors have made it possible to install solar to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide energy at their Auburn headquarters.
And in Aroostook County, a new solar array is being built near the Presque Isle airport. Learn more from the Bangor Daily News.
Two Maine legislators recently shared their views about Hydro-Quebec and why they should not be allowed to be involved in Maine politics. Hydro-Quebec stands to make billions of dollars from the controversial proposed CMP corridor.
In other CMP news, the citizens group collecting signatures for a referendum that would stop the corridor from being built turned in 100,000 signatures to Maine’s Secretary of State today.
And some good news about the CMP corridor: a federal appeals court has temporarily stopped construction of the CMP transmission line in response to a lawsuit filed by NRCM, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and Sierra Club-Maine.
If you haven’t yet ordered your copy of the new book about the Penobscot River Restoration Project, read a review of the book from a recent BDN column by George Smith. Then visit the Islandport Press website to order your copy.
News Center Maine spoke with NRCM’s Sarah Nichols about the former Fiberight facility in Hampden, which may have a new owner after being closed for several months.
January 14, 2021
The Natural Resources Council of Maine rolled out a new podcast format this week, with our Advocacy Communications Director Colin Durrant speaking with advocates about the latest news and information you need to know about Maine’s environment. These podcasts will be released every two weeks, and we will include links to them here in News & Noteworthy each week that they are released. Listen to today’s podcast, which covers 2021’s unique legislative session, a new effort to restore the Kennebec, and reflects on the seismic changes happening at the federal level.
Did you see this Maine Public story about how, for the first time, Maine’s State Parks reached a new attendance record this year — with more than three million people visiting parks around the state?
As much attention is focused on the federal level these days, here is a Reuters story about President-elect Biden’s work ahead to begin to solve the climate crisis while creating good-paying jobs and boosting the economy.
Speaking of renewable energy, the Land Use Planning Commission this week approved zoning changes for the newly reopened Saddleback Mountain Ski Resort so that they can start work on an $8 million solar farm.
January 8, 2021
The Natural Resources Council of Maine and our allies in the Kennebec Coalition were instrumental in the precedent-setting removal of the Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River in 1999. Now, federal regulators are looking at four dams further up the Kennebec that are blocking restoration of the Atlantic salmon population in that river. Read more in this Portland Press Herald story by Colin Woodard.
NRCM, along with Sierra Club Maine and the Appalachian Mountain Club continue to work to stop the CMP corridor, this time with a request to appeal an earlier decision about the construction. Read more in this Portland Press Herald news story.
The Maine Board of Environmental Protection denied a request submitted by NRCM and others to ban out-of-state waste at state-owned landfills. The Board did agree to add environmental justice as a standard in discussions of solid waste facilities. Read more in this week’s Portland Press Herald.
And we will leave you this week on a positive note: we had one last story about our virtual Polar Bear Dip & Dash, this time from Newscenter Maine.