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WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill, Maine Local News and Public Affairs Archives

Audio archives of spoken word broadcasts from Community Radio WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill (weru.org)

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Mercury from Holtrachem site closes mouth of Penobscot to Lobster Fishing, Mallinckrodt, LLC resists cleanup; Irving instigates metallic mining law changes

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) This Saturday, 7 square miles of the Gulf of Maine, at the mouth of the Penobscot River, will be closed to lobster and crab fishing due to mercury contamination from the Holtrachem site in Orrington.
    b) Concurrently, the liable corporation, Mallinckrodt, LLC, is appealing its cleanup responsibility before the Maine Supreme Court.

    c) We also re-visit an industry move to dismantle current mining regulations in Maine. Monday, the legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes, recently reformulated by the Board of Environmental Protection to allow for even less environmental protection.

    Guests:
    Jesse Graham, director of Maine Peoples Alliance, www.mainepeoplesalliance.org
    Nick Bennett, staff scientist Natural Resources Council of Maine, www.nrcm.org

    www.workingwaterfront.com/articles/Penobscot-River-closed-to-lobster-crab-harvest/15790/

    www.pressherald.com/news/Maine_Supreme_Court_to_hear_case_on_Orrington_hazardous_waste_site_cleanup_.html

    www.pressherald.com/news/state-regulators-meet-this-week-to-decide-the-best-way-to-clean-up-mercury-at-the-former-holtrachem-plant_2010-05-02.html?pagenum=full

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Segment 1: An update today on the re-write of Maine’s mining regulations. As we reported last week, the Board of Environmental Protection met to discuss further changes to the proposed rules they will be presenting to the legislature when they reconvene. The changes are considered substantive and therefore must be put out for further public comment. Lindsay Newland Bowker, Environmental Risk Manager with Bowker Associates joins us again today, with her thoughts about the meeting, and the proposed changes. Includes excerpts from a video of the meeting, shot by Eric Tuttle. Watch the meeting here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkInaDIkP7M&feature=youtu.be

    Segment 2: Local residents will have an opportunity to learn more about the TPP, and voice their opinions, at a public hearing with the Maine Citizens Trade Policy Commission, in Belfast tomorrow. The committee’s co-chairs,
    Senator Troy Jackson and Representative Sharon Treat say that the meeting will “broadly focus on the topics of food and seafood safety, specific impacts on Maine agriculture and such food policy issues such as buying local and GMO and other food labeling policies as they pertain to the TransPacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).” Here to tell us more, is Ridgely Fuller, who describes herself as “Simply a Very Concerned Belfast Resident” FMI: www.maine.gov/legis/opla/citpol.htm

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Today we continue our on-going coverage of the re-write of Maine’s mining laws, as there is breaking news out of Augusta: the Board of Environmental Protection is revealing their recommendations and the news is worse that some environmentalists fear. Interview with Lindsay Newland Bowker, CPCU, ARM Environmental Risk Manager, Bowker Associates, Science and Research in the Public Interest

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Segment 1: Maine’s mining laws are being rewritten. Legislation drafted by mining companies was presented to the Maine legislature last year with very little advance public notice, and revisions are still being drafted. A public hearing before the Board of Environmental Protection last week drew a crowd of more than 100 people last week, with the overwhelming majority of them speaking in opposition the new regulations, which loosen environmental protections. Clips from the March 2012 public hearing when the legislation was presented to the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, and an update on where things stand today, from Nick Bennett, Staff Scientist and Watersheds Policy for the Natural Resources Council of Maine (www.nrcm.org) Comments re the proposed changes can be sent to: Jeff Crawford 17 State House Station Augusta, Maine 04333-0017 207-287-7647

    Segment 2: A few weeks ago we reported on TWAC, the Trans & Women’s Action Camp that was taking place in Maine. Yesterday the action camp wrapped up with participants visiting Irving headquarters in New Hampshire. One of the participants explains why:

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Two unsuccessful legislative attempts to block tar sands pipeline and metallic mining; developments in global retailers reaction to Bangladesh building collapse

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) This week, the Maine legislature’s Natural Resources Committee watered down a bill that would have set a two year moratorium on pumping of tar sands oil through the Montreal Portland Pipeline, 76% owned by Exxon Mobil. Changes were made to the bill after the Maine Attorney General’s office claimed such a moratorium would interfere with federal interstate commerce laws.
    b) A bill (LD 1059) that would have reversed last year’s legislation that opens Maine to open pit metallic mining did not pass out of committee this week. Instead, LD 1302 was voted out of committee, a bill that only seeks to mitigate environmental damages. Though 350 Maine and others did not support this compromise, other environmental groups, including the Natural Resources Council of Maine did.
    c) Over 30, primarily European, clothing companies have signed onto a legally binding building and fire safety agreement for their Bangladesh factories. It requires independent safety inspections with public reports, mandatory factory building renovations, an obligation that brands and retailers underwrite the cost of repairs, and a genuine role for workers and unions. Us companies, such as Walmart and Gap have not signed on, making them the continued target of labor rights campaigns.

    Guests:
    A) Bob Klotz, organizer with 350 Maine Team, www.350maine.org
    FMI:
    thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/05/02/1952171/exxon-spills-tar-sands-oil-again-in-missouri-cant-find-126000-gallons-spilled-in-arkansas/?mobile=nc
    news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/05/130510-earth-co2-milestone-400-ppm/

    B) Liana Foxvog, organizer with International Labor Rights Forum, Sweatfree Communities campaign
    FMI:
    www.ilrf.org
    corporateactionnetwork.org/campaigns/human-rights-for-all-walmart-workers-the-bangladesh-fire/petitions/demand-that-walmart-ensure-basic-safety-and-human-rights-of-its-workers-2
    Laborrights.org/safety
    Gapdeathtraps.com

    C)Update on Coal is Stupid blockade in Somerset, MA
    FMI: www.heraldnews.com/news/x438180711/Activists-declaring-Coal-Is-Stupid-attempt-blockade-of-coal-delivery-at-Somersets-Brayton-Point?zc_p=1

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Audio recorded by: John Greenman

    Headline: As we went to air today, the Environment and Natural Resources committee of the state legislature was holding a work session on 3 bills related to mining in Maine. Thus far they have voted “ought not to pass” on LD 1059 “An Act To Protect Maine’s Environment and Natural Resources Jeopardized by Mining”, and on LD 1324 “An Act To Protect Local Communities When a Mining Project Is Terminated”.

    Segment 1: In our Peacetime segment today, and for the next several weeks, we are going to be featuring speakers from this year’s HOPE festival. As we reported a few weeks ago, this year’s theme was “Do One Thing” or “DOT”. Modeled on TED talks, each speaker was given a few minutes to try to convince audience members to take action on a particular issue

    Segment 2: On our last 2 WERU News Report programs we’ve explored the widening gap between the rich and poor. Continuing on that theme today, we have Garrett Martin, Executive Director of Maine Center for Economic Policy, speaking at the University of Maine last month, as part of their Marxist and Socialist Studies Lecture series. He was introduced by Professor Doug Allen

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Metallic Mining in Maine and El Salvador

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Last legislative session, an effort spearheaded by Irving resulted in legislation directing Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection to over haul state mining laws to make it easier for the exploitation of gold, copper, silver and zinc. Though the impetus is a project at Bald Mountain in Arookstook County, the changes will open up mining at number of locations across the state with metallic metals.
    b) The country of El Salvador, based on past experiences within their own borders and the experiences of communities in neighboring countries in Central America, has kept a resurgence of gold mining at bay, through government action, pushed by an unparallelled social movement. Around the globe the effects of mining include water over use, severe water pollution and it’s ensuing health impacts, and the human rights abuses and violence perpetrated against anti-mining activists by myriad factions in support of mining companies.
    c) US El Salvador Sister Cities, and it’s local affiliate Power in Community Alliances (PICA), is hosting a speaking tour by Salvadoran anti mining activists. They will present along with Natural Resources Council of Maine staff scientist Nick Bennett, on the parallels between Maine and Salvadoran mining prospects and resistance.

    Guest:
    Jan Morrill, Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), past US El Salvador Sister Cities staff, and organizer with El Salvador’s National Table on Metallic Mining. She is originally from Maine.

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    The mining industry rewrites Maine’s laws for themselves, & what’s the plan for all that LPG?

    *Who is involved in the re-writing of Maine’s mining regulations? *What are the potential impacts of open-pit mining in the state? *What are some of the questions & speculation about uses for the large amounts of LPG that DCP would like to import through Searsport?

    -Interview with Dylan Vorhees, Natural Resources Council of Maine (www.nrcm.org)
    -Recorded excerpts from Searsport Planning Board public hearings in November 2012

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