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”,
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,( on Wednesday, April 3rd and 10 am. Written comments will be accepted until that time at

Guest: Hillary Lister, co-author of LD 401 : “An Act to Preserve State Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling”
Contact info: 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.
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.

Neela Baerjee, Inside Climate News, Washington DC reporter
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.

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.

Gary Freidmann, A Climate to Thrive board chair; Maine Climate Action Coalition; Chair of Bar Harbor Town Council

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

Cathy Johnson, Senior Staff Attorney, Forest and Wildlife Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine

Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Land Use Planning Commission
Proposed Rules Revisions: Revised Applications of Adjacency Principle and Subdivision Standards :

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

RadioActive 1/10/19

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Environmental and Social Justice: Penobscot Tribe Response to Department of Environmental Protection Appointment

Key Discussion Points:
a) Today we hear from the Penobscot Nation Chief, Ambassador and other community leaders on Governor Mills’ recent nomination of Assistant Attorney General Jerry Reid to head the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
b) In his position in the Attorney General’s Office, he was lead counsel in the still ongoing cases Penobscot Nation v. Attorney General Janet Mills and the State’s lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s order to increase water quality standards in tribal sustenance fishing waters.
c) The Legislative Environmental and Natural Resources Committee is expected to hold a public hearing on Reid’s nomination sometime this month.

Today’s program was produced with the Sunlight Media Collective. Josh Woodbury and Chek Wingo of Sunlight Media Collective provided field audio. Video, transcripts and updates will be posted at

Maria Girouard, Penobscot, historian, activist, co-founder of Dawnland Environmental Defense
Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation
Maulian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador
Sherri Mitchell, attorney, author, activist

For more information on confirmation hearing:
Joint Legislative Environment and Natural Resources Committee
Community Water Justice:

RadioActive 11/1/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Environmental and Social Justice: Root Causes of Migrant Caravan and Political Violence in Central America and US

Key Discussion Points:

a) This week, we again turn to the thousands of migrants travelling together from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala towards the US to seek asylum.
b) We look further at the political repression experienced by Hondurans since the US supported 2009 coup and at the environmental, human rights and economic impacts mega-projects have had on the population.
c) We also reflect on the connections between the recent hatred fueled violence in the US and the demonization of immigration.

And, as November 6th deadline for public comment looms, we look at the Trump Administration’s attempt to repeal the 1997 Flores Amendment, which prohibits the US federal government from holding migrant children in detention centers for over 20 days.

Grahame Russel, director of Rights Action
Reporting by Sandra Cuffe, travelling with caravan:

Dennis Chinoy, US El Salvador Sister Cities, PICA (Power in Community Alliances)

Information on Flores Amendment:

RadioActive 10/25/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Migrant Caravan from Central America: Root Causes and Human Rights

Key Discussion Points:

a) As thousands of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala travel in a caravan through Mexico towards the US, we speak with Patricia Montes, executive director od the immigrant rights organization Centro Presente, in East Boston.

b) We look at the root causes, and connections to the United States policies, including poverty, unemployment, gang violence and political repression, including following the US backed coup in Honduras in 2009.

c) We also look at human rights impacts, as the Trump Administration seizes on the caravan to inflame knee jerk, anti-immigrant sentiment during the mid-term election, now saying he will “call up the US military and close our southern border.”

Guest: Patricia Montes, executive director, Centro Presente ,

RadioActive 10/18/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Environmental and Social Justice: El Salvador Social Movement

Key Discussion Points:

a) We sat down with two members of the Salvadoran social movement, Bernardo Belloso of CRIPDES and Zulma Tobar of US El Salvador Sister Cities, to talk about some of the issues confronting the organized rural communities in El Salvador.

b) These include the growth of the sugar cane industry and the impacts on health from agrochemicals and excessive use of water, national efforts to privatize water and climate change. In 2016, El Salvador became the first country to ban metallic mining, a result of massive social movement efforts.

c) Since 1991, Bangor, through local organization PICA ( and US El Salvador Sister Cities, has had a sistering relationship with the Salvadoran community Carasque, one of the 300 rural communities organized through CRIPDES. MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is sistered with the Salvadoran sustainable agricultural organization, CORDES. ( WERU Community Radio is sistered with community radio station Radio Sumpul in the organized community Guarjilla. (

Zulma Tobar, US El Salvador Sister Cities
Bernardo Belloso, CRIPDES

Thanks to Andrea Mercardo for translation.