RadioActive 6/6/19: “Connecting Our Struggles: Corporations or Communities?”

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Last week a panel of Maine-based activists spoke in Belfast at an event called “Connecting Our Struggles: Corporations or Communities?” Panelists Nickie Sekera of Community Water Justice; Matt Wagner of No to NECEC; Ellie Daniels of Local Citizens for SMART Growth; and John Banks, Natural Resources Director for the Penobscot Nation, talked about tensions between corporate interests and efforts to protect and preserve communities.

Part 1 of this panel discussion aired on Maine Currents this morning, and is available here

RadioActive 4/25/19: Updates on Water Extraction and Solid Waste Reform Bills

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

a) Today we hear updates on the status of proposed waste reform and water extraction bills in the Maine State Legislature.

b) Yesterday, the Environmental and Natural Resources Committee made decisions on five bills that could impact industrial water extraction in Maine, specifically by Poland Spring, owned by Nestle Waters North America. The ENR Committee voted unanimously “ought to pass” on LD 112 ” An Act to Acknowledge Potable Water as a Necessity.” They voted unanimously “ought not to pass” on
LD 1358, “An Act to Further the Public Interest In All Maine Waters”, LD 413 ” An Act to Ensure the Rights
of Citizens to Groundwater in the State” and LD 197 “An Act to Convene a Working Group to Authorize a Public Trust for Maine’s Groundwater”. The Committee voted to move LD 1474 “An Act to Ensure Water Equity and Accountability for the People of the State”, sponsored by Rep. Hickman legislature.maine.gov/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP1076&item=1&snum=129, to the Legislative Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. The work session is not yet scheduled.

c) Tomorrow, April 26th, at 10 am the Environment and Natural Resources Committee will hold a work session on LD 401, An Act To Preserve State Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling,” would request the accurate tracking and record keeping of waste from its generation to final disposal point, including as landfill leachate discharged into Maine waterways, including Juniper Ridge Landfill leachate deposited into the Penobscot River. It would walk back a 2011 state statute that allows out of state waste to be re-classified as in-state waste. It would also walk back the ability for the state to meet recycling goals by counting construction and demolition debris used as landfill covering and waste biosolids used as agricultural fertilizer. It would strengthen protections for the health of those living in close proximity to waste disposal facilities, including the Penobscot Nation.

To listen to the work session: legislature.maine.gov/Audio/#216

Guests:
Nickie Sekera, Community Water Justice www.facebook.com/communitywaterjustice/ www.communitywaterjustice.com

Hillary Lister, solid waste and environmental justice activist, Contact info: hmaine9@gmail.com or 207-314-4692

Today’s program was produced with the Sunlight Media Collective.

RadioActive 4/11/19 Proposed Water Bills Would Impact Industrial Water Extraction in Maine

Proposed Water Bills Would Impact Industrial Water Extraction in Maine

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

a) Today we speak with watchdog group Nickie Sekera at Community Water Justice about five bills that could impact industrial water extraction in Maine, specifically by Poland Spring, owned by Nestle Waters North America.

b) A public hearing on the bills was before the Maine Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee on April 10th, attended by representatives of state agencies, water districts, watch dog groups and industry, including Nestle North America.
The bills being considered are LD 1474 “An Act to Ensure Water Equity and Accountability for the People of the State”, sponsored by Rep. Hickman legislature.maine.gov/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP1076&item=1&snum=129, LD 1121 ” An act to Acknowledge Potable Water as a Necessity. Sponsored by Senator Chenette legislature.maine.gov/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=SP0341&item=1&snum=129, LD 197 “An Act to Convene a Working Group to Authorize a Public Trust for Maine’s Groundwater”, sponsored by Rep. Sylvester legislature.maine.gov/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP0160&item=1&snum=129, LD 413 ” An Act to Ensure the Rights of Citizens to Groundwater in the State” www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP0322&item=1&snum=129, sponsored by Rep Riseman, An Act to Further the Public Interest In All Maine Waters, sponsored by Lori Gramlich

The Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee will hold its work session on the bills Wednesday, April 24th.

Guest: Nickie Sekera, Community Water Justice www.facebook.com/communitywaterjustice/

Today’s program was produced with the Sunlight Media Collective.

legislature.maine.gov/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP0980&item=1&snum=129

c) Directly following the public hearing before the ENR, Poland Spring/ Nestle North America released a video and ran full page ads in state news papers promoting their business and commitment “to preserve and protect one of Maine’s most valuable resources.”

RadioActive 4/4/19

Penobscot Nation and Other Affected Communities Speak Out at Public Hearing on Solid Waste Reform Bill

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Today we follow up on reforms afoot for solid waste policy in Maine, as affected communities, including the Penobscot Nation, policy makers and the Department of Environmental Protection look to address long standing problems. Yesterday, the Maine Legislature’s Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources heard public testimony on three waste bills, including LD 401, “An Act to Preserve State Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling”, (legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP0310&item=1&snum=129)

LD 401 would request the accurate tracking and record keeping of waste from its generation to final disposal point, including as landfill leachate discharged into Maine waterways, including Juniper Ridge Landfill leachate deposited into the Penobscot River. It would walk back a 2011 state statute that allows out of state waste to be re-classified as in-state waste. It would also walk back the ability for the state to meet recycling goals by counting construction and demolition debris used as landfill covering and waste biosolids used as agricultural fertilizer. It would strengthen protections for the health of those living in close proximity to waste disposal facilities.

Today we hear some of the testimony from those present, including representatives of the Penobscot Nation. And we speak with Hillary Lister, longtime waste organizer and co-author of LD 401, on how things are developing, as the Department seeks to incorporate elements of LD 401 into a bill that also go before the ENR Committee soon.

Guests:

Rep. Ryan Tipping, sponsor of LD 401, District 123, Orono
John Banks, Director of the Department of Natural Resources, Penobscot Nation
Mauilian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador
Sarah Lakeman, Sustainable Maine Project Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Hillary Lister, solid waste activist
Dawn Neptune Adams, environmental activist, member of Penobscot Nation
Heather Linnet Whittier
Rep. Lori Gramlich, District 13

Today’s program was produced with the Sunlight Media Collective, including Dawn Neptune Adams, Andrea DeFrancesco and Josh Woodbury. Audio recording by Josh Woodbury. www.sunlightmediacollective.org

RadioActive 3/28/19

LD 401: Bill to Comprehensively Reform Waste Policy in Maine

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Production assistance from Dawn Neptune Adams, Sunlight Media Collective

a) Today we discuss a bill looking to comprehensively address waste issues in Maine : LD 401, “An Act to
Preserve State Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling”,
(legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP0310&item=1&snum=129)
written by longtime waste organizer Hillary Lister and others from effected communities.

b) LD 401 would request the accurate tracking and record keeping of waste from its generation to final disposal point, including as landfill leachate discharged into Maine waterways. It would walk back a 2011 state statute that allows out of state waste to be re-classified as in-state waste. It would also walk back the ability for the state to meet recycling goals by counting construction and demolition debris landfill covering and waste biosolids used as agricultural fertilizer. It would strengthen protections for the health of those living in close proximity to waste disposal facilities.

c) A public hearing on the bill will be held by the Maine Legislature’s Environmental and Natural Resources Committee,(legislature.maine.gov/Audio/#216) on Wednesday, April 3rd and 10 am. Written comments will be accepted until that time at enr@legislature.maine.gov.

Guest: Hillary Lister, co-author of LD 401 : “An Act to Preserve State Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling” legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP0310&item=1&snum=129
Contact info: hmaine9@gmail.com or 207-314-4692

This program was produced with the Sunlight Media Collective.

RadioActive 3/7/19

CMP Transmission Line’s Claims to Impact Climate and New Report on Trump Climate Rollbacks

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Today we look at a new report by the NYU School of Law’s State Energy and Environmental Impact Center that outlines the potential cumulative impacts of the Trump Administration’s proposed climate policy rollbacks. www.law.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/climate-and-health-showdown-in-the-courts.pdf
And we look at Central Maine Power’s proposed transmission line through Maine, its potential impacts and claims that it will beneficially address climate change.
We look at the impacts the CMP line would have on 263 wetlands, 115 streams and 12 inland waterfowl and wading bird habitat area, brook trout and other wildlife habitat, through cutting and herbicide application. We also examine the greenwash claims that the project would positively impact climate change and how Hydro Quebec’s power would block Maine generated renewable power from grid access, including solar.

Guests:
Neela Baerjee, Inside Climate News, Washington DC reporter insideclimatenews.org/news/06032019/trump-climate-regulations-rollback-cost-health-emissions-clean-power-plan-cars-oil-gas-methane
Nick Bennett, Natural Resources Council of Maine, staff scientist

CMP Transmission Line Proposal: A Bad Deal for Maine

RadioActive 2/28/19

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Combating Climate Change: Local and State Initiatives to Shift to Renewable Energy by 2030

a) Today we turn again to local and state initiatives to combat climate change. We speak with Gary Friedmann, of the Mount Desert Island organization A Climate to Thrive, on progress on MDI and on the work of the Maine Climate Action Coalition to shift Maine to 100% renewable energy by 2030.

b) Close to 200 bills related to climate will be before the Maine Legislature this session.
LD 658,?Reslove, To Direct a Plan for Energy Independence for Maine, Sponsored by Rep. Brian Hubbell had a hearing February 26th. Three bills will will receive a public hearing on March 13th. They are LD 893, 818 and 797.
www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_129th/billtexts/SP025901.asp
www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_129th/billtexts/SP025401.asp
www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_129th/billtexts/HP058501.asp

On February 28th, Governor Mills announced that Maine has become the 22nd state to join the United States Climate Alliance, whose members have committed to the Paris Agreement greenhouse gas emission reductions. Mills also announced the administration’s proposal for the Maine Climate Council, which would aim to shift the state to 80% renewables by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

c) Friedmann believes the bills to be heard on March 13th are a start, but must go further. He is not supportive of the CMP transmission line, and cautions care with wind projects. He does believe a dramatic acceleration of renewables and conservation in all sectors, including subsidized decentralized solar, will make the imperative goal of a 100% energy shift by 2030 attainable.

Guest:
Gary Freidmann, A Climate to Thrive board chair; Maine Climate Action Coalition; Chair of Bar Harbor Town Council www.aclimatetothrive.org/

RadioActive 1/17/19

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Land Use Planning Commission Poised to Open 1.3 million Acres of Maine Woods to Development

The Maine Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) is poised to make the biggest proposed policy change in Commission history. Their plan to change adjacency criteria, eliminating the so-called “one mile rule”, would open up over 1.3 million acres of the Maine woods to residential subdivisions. 800,000 of those acres would also be opened to commercial development. This would open an unspecified number of class 3 lakes to development.
Opponents say, the policy change would also reverse a 2001 legislative ban on large residential subdivisions of 25 acres (so called, kingdom lots), and would allow subdivisions of up to 14 lots and 30 acres to meet only limited environmental review on approximately 400,000 acres.
The LUPC is accepting written comments on their proposed development changes until January 22. Email comments to Benjamin.Godsoe@maine.gov

Guest:
Cathy Johnson, Senior Staff Attorney, Forest and Wildlife Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine
www.nrcm.org/projects/forests-wildlife/maine-north-woods-protection-lupc/lupc-adjacency-principle-maines-north-woods/
www.nrcm.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2018-one-mile-rule-general-factsheet-post-hearing.pdf
www.nrcm.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/NRCMadjacencytestimony62018.pdf
www.nrcm.org/projects/forests-wildlife/maine-north-woods-protection-lupc/

Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Land Use Planning Commission
Proposed Rules Revisions: Revised Applications of Adjacency Principle and Subdivision Standards : www.maine.gov/dacf/lupc/projects/adjacency/rulemaking/Adj_Sub_PublicCommentDraft_Dec2018.pdf

Today’s program was produced with the Sunlight Media Collective.