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  • WERU News Report 3/29/11

    Producer/Host: Amy Browne
    Contributing Producer: Meaghan LaSala

    Segment 1: LD 1129, “An Act To Provide the Department of Environmental Protection with Regulatory Flexibility Regarding the Listing of Priority Chemicals”, and LD 1185, An Act To Amend the Process for Prioritizing Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products
    Producer: Amy Browne
    The Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources heard testimony today on 2 pieces of proposed legislation, aimed at revising the Kids Safe Products Act— which was passed in 2008, with the goal of protecting children from harmful chemicals like bisphenol A, or BPA.
    LD 1185, An Act To Amend the Process for Prioritizing Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products, is sponsored by Senator Seth Goodall and several co-sponsors, and has the support of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Goodall’s bill would narrow the scope of chemicals for consideration as “priority chemicals”, and require that at least 2 additional priority chemicals be designated by January 1, 2013.
    Environmentalists say that the other piece of proposed legislation being presented to the committee today would gut the KidsSafe Product Act. LD 1129, “An Act To Provide the Department of Environmental Protection with Regulatory Flexibility Regarding the Listing of Priority Chemicals” is sponsored by Representative James Hamper, a Republican from Oxford. The Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources was still hearing testimony as we went to air, but here are excerpts from Representative Hamper’s presentation of his bill.

    Segment 2: An interview with Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a Canadian Inuk, Nobel Peace nominee and world leader on climate change and human rights.
    Producer: Meaghan LaSala
    Sheila is also a visiting scholar for the 2010-2011 school year at Bowdoin College’s Arctic Studies Center. Sheila discusses her belief that indigenous voices must be brought to the forefront of international dialogues around climate change, describes the traditional Inuit hunting culture, and details the ways in which this ancient culture is already under threat due to climate change. She explains why the Arctic experiences the minute changes of global warming more drastically than other areas of the world, and how these changes threaten the Inuit way of life. Sheila also discusses her vision of “bridging the gap” between indigenous knowledge and the rationalism of globalization– one that does not consign indigenous cultures to a museum, but rather puts them at the forefront of the solution, with feet planted firmly in both worlds.

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