Archives for Penobscot River

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, 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:

Nickie Sekera, Community Water Justice

Hillary Lister, solid waste and environmental justice activist, Contact info: [email protected] or 207-314-4692

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

RadioActive 8/2/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Penobscot Elder Butch Phillips Speaks on the Penobscot River

Today, Penobscot Elder Butch Phillips speaks about his experiences on the Penobscot River, the Penobscot River Restoration Trust’s impacts on sea run fish and tribal culture, the spiritual Katahdin 100 and the Penobscot Nation’s current legal struggle to have their relationship with the Penobscot River continue to be recognized by the State of Maine.

Butch Phillips served as the Penobscot Nation’s Lieutenant Governor from 1983-84, was a negotiator for the Penobscot Nation during the creation of the Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act, chaired the Tribes’ Fish and Game Committee for 15 years and was a tribal cultural ambassador for the Penobscot River Restoration Trust.

The Sunlight Media Collective sat down with Butch Phillips in his home for the Collective’s film project, The River Is Our Relative. He is interviewed by Dawn Neptune Adams, Joanna Weaver and Meredith DeFrancesco.

Joanna Weaver recorded audio. This program is a joint production with the Sunlight Media Collective.

Guest: Reuben “Butch” Phillips, Penobscot Nation Elder

Maine Currents 3/27/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Our thanks for contributing audio for today’s program goes out to: Sonja Katharine Birthisel, Tracey Hair, Jeanne Curran, John Greenman

Segment 1: “March for Our Lives” audio collage
Segment 2: Salmon Aquaculture Proposed at Abandoned Mill Site in Bucksport

1: A collage of audio clips from local “March for Our Lives” events on 3/24/18. First we hear Stillwater Youth chanting, recorded by Sonja Katharine Birthisel, followed by a few clips of the speakers at the Bangor rally, recorded by Tracey Hair, and then some person in the street interviews in Bangor, recorded by Jeanne Curran.

2: Large salmon aquaculture companies are planning to build facilities in Belfast and Bangor, raising hopes and concerns in both communities. Whole Oceans, the company planning to locate at the abandoned Bucksport mill site held a public meeting recently. John Greenman recorded the event, and today we have some clips from the company’s presentation, followed by some of the question and answer session.

NOTE: Maine Currents is moving to the 1st Thursday of each month, 10-11 a.m. Be sure to tune in then for independent local news, views and culture on WERU-FM!

RadioActive 2/22/18

Producer: Meredith DeFrancesco

Casella Waste Systems Applies for Expanded Waste Acceptance at Juniper Ridge Landfill

On Wednesday February 28th, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public meeting in Bangor to examine Casella Waste Systems request to continue receiving Municipal Solid Waste from Southern Maine at the Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town.
This fall, the state owned, privately run, Juniper Ridge Landfill was approved for a major expansion, despite a long and exhaustive citizen effort to stop it.
Area residents, including members of the Penobscot Tribe, have protested the continuing dumping of leachate liquids into the Penobscot River, with minimal testing and treatment. They also continue to underscore the acceptance of out of state waste to a state owned facility, a practice disallowed by Maine law, but circumvented by minor processing, which allows trash to be re-classified as in-state waste.

Guest: Ed Spencer, Old Town resident, stakeholder and intervenor in Juniper Ridge Landfill expansion process

Maine Currents 7/18/17

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Contributing producers: Meredith DeFrancesco, Matt Murphy

Segment 1: Penobscot Nation member and indigenous rights attorney Sherri Mitchell speaking at the Penobscot River Sovereignty Rally held on the Bangor waterfront on July 9th in response to the recent court decision against the tribe- produced by Meredith DeFrancesco

Segment 2: Matt Murphy interviews former Senator George Mitchell about ways to apply what he has learned in his years as a diplomat to present day politics

Segment 3: Matt Murphy interviews performance artist Judith Sloan about her latest project. FMI:

Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Tuesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and

RadioActive 6/15/17

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Penobscot River Rally and Flotilla

1) Today we hear some audio from Saturday’s Penobscot River Rally and Flotilla on the Bangor Waterfront, where people gathered to support the Penobscot Tribe’s struggle for continued stewardship of the River, and other local and statewide struggles for clean water and clean energy.
2) Over 30 organizations co-sponsored the event, which showed support for the Penobscot Nation’s efforts to retain sovereignty and stewardship on the section of the river passing through their island territory. In 2012, the Maine Attorney General’s office sought to establish that section as State territory. The Tribe has sued the State in an on going legal case: Penobscot Nation v Attorney General Janet Mills.
3) Speakers broadcast in this program address the Juniper Ridge Landfill expansion in Old Town and the dumping of toxic leachate into the Penobscot River and on state bills and policies that could support or paralyze the development of solar energy in Maine.

Ed Spencer, Old Town resident, logger and intervenor in Juniper Ridge Landfill expansion process
Dawn Neptune Adams, Penobscot tribal member and activist
Fred Greenhalgh, ReVision Energy and solar activist
Jim Freeman, Flotilla organizer, Alliance for the Common Good,

This program was produced in partnership with the Sunlight Media Collective.

RadioActive 6/8/17

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

BEP Proposed Rule Changes to Allow Increased CDD Import; Solar Legislation; Penobscot River Rally and Flotilla

1) Today we look at rule changes the Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) is poised to make which would allow for the increased importation and incineration of toxic Construction and Demolition Debris (CDD) in Maine. The BEP will be accepting comments on the rule changes until June 25th.
2) We also look at two solar energy bills currently before the Maine legislature: LD 1504: An Act Regarding Solar Power for Farms and Businesses and LD 1444: An Act Regarding Large Scale Community Solar Procurement.
3) We also look towards Saturday’s Penobscot River Rally and Flotilla, where people will gather to support the Penobscot Tribe’s struggle for continued stewardship of the River, and other local and statewide struggles for clean water and clean energy. Over 30 organizations are co-sponsoring this event.

Hillary Lister, waste activist, Maine Matters Research, Consulting and Advocacy. ( BEP Rule Changes Summary :
Dylan Voorhes, Clean Energy director at Natural Resources Council of Maine
Sherri Mitchell, Penobscot Tribe, indigenous rights attorney, Land Peace Foundation

This program was produced in partnership with the Sunlight Media Collective.

RadioActive 6/1/17

Guest Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Juniper Ridge Landfill Expansion Approved by BEP; Trump Withdraws from Paris Climate Agreement

-Today the Maine Board of Environmental Protection approved the expansion of the Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town.
-Local activists have strongly opposed the expansion, underlining the amount of out of state waste that is reclassified as “in-state waste” and disposed at Juniper Ridge, which is state owned, but privately operated by Casella Waste Management. Opponents, including members of the Penobscot Nation, are alarmed by potential impacts on ground water and the continued dumping of leachate by product into the Penobscot River.
-We also examine Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord

Ed Spencer, Old Town resident and intervenor in Juniper Ridge Landfill Expansion
Erika Lennon, senior attorney for the Center for International Environmental Law

This program was produced in partnership with the Sunlight Media Collective.