Environment and Outdoors

Birding enthusiast
6:03 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Hooked on Birds: 90-Year-Old Mainer Bands Birds for Scientific Research

June Ficker untangles a cardinal from a net.
Credit Patty Wight / MPBN

WELLS, Maine - Much like the tourists who flock to the state's beaches, forests, and mountains, birds from all over the world inhabit the same special places. And 90-year-old June Ficker eagerly anticipates their arrival. For 25 years, she's been banding birds at the Wells Research Reserve and collecting data for national research projects.

Read more
Formaldehyde Rule
6:01 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Maine Lawmakers Criticize Foot Dragging on Formaldehyde Rule

AUGUSTA, Maine - Lawmakers in both parties are renewing their criticism of the LePage administration's refusal to identify formaldehyde as a harmful chemical under the Kids Safe Products Act.  A proposed rule, dropped by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in April, would require manufacturers to identify the chemical in any products marketed to children. The department says it delayed action to give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency more time to complete a review of the risks proposed by formaldehyde.


Read more
Environmental scorecard
5:58 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Maine Conservation Group Releases Annual 'Grades' for State Lawmakers

AUGUSTA, Maine - Nearly two-thirds of the Maine Legislature received a grade of 75 percent or higher from one of the state's leading conservation advocacy groups. Maine Conservation Voters released its environmental scorecard today, which highlights bipartisan efforts to protect Maine's water quality and invest in clean energy technology. Of the 13 bills cited by the group, lawmakers enacted a dozen, only to lose six to vetoes from Gov. Paul LePage.

Read more
7:19 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Pest Spreads Territory in Knox County, Maine

CAMDEN, Maine — Maine officials say the hemlock woolly adelgid appears to be expanding its territory in Knox County.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says a tourist recently found the pest on two trees in Camden. The agency says the insect was found in forested areas of Friendship and Owls Head during detection surveys earlier this year.

It can be found from Kittery to Owls Head in Maine.

Casco Bay study
5:42 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Maine Scientists Launch Long-Term Study of Marine Life in Casco Bay

Scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland are trying to better understand how the ecosystem of Casco Bay is changing. This summer, they launched a comprehensive survey of marine life in the bay that will unfold over the next 10 years. MPBN's Jennifer Rooks caught up with some of the researchers.


Read more
Mosquito-borne viruses
5:40 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Maine Lab Tracks Progress of Dangerous Mosquito-Borne Viruses

A female mosquito.
Credit Joaquim Alves Gaspar / Wikimedia Commons

SCARBOROUGH, Maine - Lurking in Maine's forests, swamps and even backyards are potentially serious diseases. Deer ticks are a source of at least five diseases in the state. Mosquitoes are the source for two others: West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE. Their incidence in humans is rare in Maine, but researchers at Maine Medical Center's Vector-borne Disease Lab know they infect animals around us. As Patty Wight reports in the second part of her two-part series, their job is to find out why, and to detect when the viruses emerge in humans.

Read more
Wind Power
12:00 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Maine Town Puts Moratorium on Wind Energy Projects

DIXFIELD, Maine (AP) _ Residents of a Maine town are calling for a six-month moratorium on wind energy projects.

Quincy, Massachusetts, firm Patriot Renewables LLC asked Dixfield, Maine officials three years ago about building 13 wind turbines on a mountain ridge. The town's selectmen approved a Wind Energy Facility Ordinance in 2012 and began revising it in January 2013.

Read more
Reformulated gasoline
4:28 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

EPA Proposes to Require Cleaner-Burning Gasoline in Seven Maine Counties

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to require the sale of so-called reformulated gasoline in several Maine counties, beginning in June. The proposal is in response to Maine's request to opt in to the program.

Reformulated gasoline - or RFG - is blended to reduce chemicals that cause smog and other pollution. RFG is required in cities with high smog levels, but is optional elsewhere.  The EPA is proposing that Maine require the blend in seven counties - York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Kennebec, Knox and Lincoln.

Read more
Almanac forecast
2:56 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Almanac Predicts Colder Winter, Hotter Summer

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Winter's going to be colder than usual and next summer hotter. So says the Old Farmer's Almanac, the familiar, 223-year-old chronicler of climate, folksy advice and fun facts.

Published Wednesday, the almanac predicts a "super-cold" winter in two-thirds of the country, or what Editor Janice Stillman calls "a refriger-nation." Before unpacking the parka, remember "colder than average" is about 2 to 5 degrees difference.

Read more
6:46 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Hebron School Oil Spill Cleanup Discussed

HEBRON, Maine — A heating oil company is picking up the tab for a 1,500-gallon spill at a Hebron elementary school.

Superintendent Rick Colpitts and Jessamine Logan, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Protection, tell the Sun Journal that C.N. Brown oil company of Paris has assumed full responsibility for the cleanup.

A company employee accidentally overfilled the tank at the Hebron Station School in December.

Read more