May 13, 2017

ME Legis' Marine Resources Comm May 10, 2017 worksession on LD 1438 AUDIO MP3

On May 10, 2017, the Maine Legislature's Marine Resources Committee approved an amended version of LD1438 "An Act To Improve the Aquaculture Leasing and Licensing Laws."   Listen to the 5/10/17 work session on LD 1438 (47min)  
Or in parts: Pt 1 12min  **  Part 2. 8min54sec  **Part 3. 9min 44sec  ** Part 4. 8min 50sect **  Part  5  to end    Listen to May 1, 2017 public hearing on 1438. (46min)

Read Official summary of LD1438 below links to filed comments 

Belle, Sebastian
Maine Aquaculture Association
Crimp, JamesIsland Institute
de Koning, FionaAcadia Aqua Farms, LLC
Devin, MichaelMaine State Legislature
Dobbins, PaulOcean Approved, Inc.
Gilbert, DeirdreDepartment of Marine Resources
Steverlynck, ValyFreeport

Summary
"This bill amends the aquaculture leasing and licensing laws. 

* It removes the prohibition on the provision by the Department of Marine Resources of promotional and marketing assistance to the aquaculture industry. 

* It extends the potential term of an aquaculture lease from 10 to 20 years. 

It changes the order of preference for lease applications to include in the 2nd position an individual who currently holds a limited-purpose aquaculture license for the area. 

It provides a process by which a holder of a standard lease could seek an expansion of the lease area by up to 10% once during the duration of the lease without having to apply for a new lease. 

It places the licensed activities and criteria for limited-purpose aquaculture licenses in separate statutory provisions. 

It requires a limited-purpose aquaculture license holder to specify if the license is for commercial or personal use and to identify the growing area and current classification of the area. 

It adds consideration of any risk to public health to the criteria used in determining whether to grant a limited-purpose aquaculture license. 

It adds to the eligibility criteria for a limited-purpose aquaculture license the completion of any educational courses that may be required by the Commissioner of Marine Resources.

END

ME Legislature to vote on tightening restrictions on creating new category of political parties

Important Changes to Mainers'  political and civic rights  happened at the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee  of the legislature on May 10, 2017.  Listen to the recorded discussions then the committee votes in approval of bills LD 1591 and LD 1571. 

May 10, 2017  Meeting introduction 2min

LD 1591   Lobbying by Former Legislators and Former Executive Branch Officials"  Imposes a one year no-paid-lobbying minimum after leaving office. Listen to LD1591's worksession and vote. 14min 36sec 

During the work session both the secretary of state and a professional lobbyist spoke at length in favor of the bill.

 LD 1571  "An Act To Amend the Election Laws Relating to Party Qualification" creates a new category of political party in Maine: the "Minor Party"   Listen to LD 1571 worksession 51min      Key Points: 

Minor parties to have 2 major differences from majors
1.Need minimum 5,000  enrolled voters to qualify as a legitimate political party, 
2. Select candidates at conventions.

 Major Parties (Ds and Rs) 
1. Need minimum o\50,000 enrolled voters to qualify 
2. Select candidates via primaries. 










May 8, 2017

Me legislators hold hearing & worksession on bill to revamp state laws on archives & records-keeping. Vote OTP.

A bill changing  the state of Maine's archives and records management laws had both its public hearing and worksession  on May 8, 2017, and was then reported out with an Ought To Pass

The bill is  LD 1567 "An Act To Amend the Archives and Records Management Law"


Submitted testimony:
Matthew Dunlap testimony, Secretary of State
Roger Katz, Maine State Legislature 

Official summary of the changes the bill brings to state and local records management
"This bill makes the following changes to the archives and records management laws:
1. Adds language to specify that it is the policy of the State to ensure that nonpermanent records are preserved for the time required by an approved records retention schedule;
2. Adds language to include the advice from the Archives Advisory Board in the State Archivist's consideration of what constitutes an archival record, to change the definition of state agency or agency to include all government agencies that transmit records to the Maine State Archives and to change the definition of electronic records;
3. Adds language to specify the 2nd organizational unit within the Maine State Archives is records management and adds language to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, section 94 that was stricken from Title 5, section 95 regarding powers and duties of the State Archivist;
4. Changes the laws governing the State Archivist to reflect the 2 organizational units of the Maine State Archives: archives services and records management. It adds language to strengthen the records management practices for all state and local government agencies by using 4 criteria in the development of a guiding records retention schedule: administrative use, legal requirements, fiscal and audit requirements and historical and research value;
5. Specifies when local government records may be destroyed;
6. Repeals and replaces the laws governing the Archives Advisory Board to change the expertise required of members, to provide that members are appointed by the Secretary of State and to provide 3-year terms for members; and
7. Removes the requirement that the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education and cultural affairs but retains the requirement that the board report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over state and local government matters, which is the committee of oversight for the Maine State Archives. It also removes a reference to funding a full-time position that was eliminated in Public Law 2015, 
End of summary

Maine bill to ban towns from having pesticide ordinances fails!

AUGUSTA.  LD 1505: “An Act To Create Consistency in the Regulation of Pesticides“ had a public hearing on May first, followed by two work sessions by the Maine Legislature's State and Local Government committee on  May 8th and May 15th.

The May 15th worksession  lasted only 90 seconds but that  was long enough for the committee to give LD 1505l an Ought Not To Pass

Listen to the May 8th Worksession  in which they ponder the info they'd gotten 
Part 1. Introduction; summary of public hearing comments. 9min 19sec

Part 2, Gary Corbin ME Municipal Assoc 8min 24sec

Part 3. Lebelle Hicks, State Toxicologist 6min 25sec

Part 4. Deven Morrill, chair Board of Pesticides Control  12min 12sec

Part 5. Mary Ann Nahf, Harpswell Conservation Commission. 6min 11sec

Part 6. Discussion and decision to hold another mtg 5/10/17. 3min 51sec

The bill would both kill all existing town pesticide related ordinances in Maine, and forbid  creation of new ones. The state offered an amendment that would still kill the ordinances but would allow towns to apply  to the Board of Pesticides Control for approval of new plans. 

Many in the committee remain opposed to the bill, especially as an infringment on municipal Home Rule which allows towns to pass ordinances that are strong than certain state laws.

The committee voted to hold another worksession Wednesday before voting on the controversial bill. 

Three Penobscot Bay towns have pesticide ordinances Rockland, Owls Head and Castine  Twenty six other Maine towns also have such ordinances.

May 6, 2017



Supporters of the MAV floating wind turbines plan have yet to take seriously (let alone discuss) the predicted effects of the project on the hydrodynamics of the Gulf of Maine off Penobscot Bay.

Yet the scientific consensus is that the wind shadow of reduced wind velocity (-25%) immediately downwind of an ocean windbturbine continues well into the water column below. The reduced velocity of those waters, compared to the water outside the windfarm's shadow, results in creation of an upwelling of waters from the lower water column to the surface.
As Norwegian expert Goran Brostrom, who's familiar with Maine's offshore wind plans, puts it, a wind decrease of 25% corresponds to a 50% decrease in wind stress at the surface. By the time 20 years have blown past, the two floating turbines chugging away will have earned hundreds of million dollars or more selling electricity. This money will then be used to set up more of them further offshore Focusing on whether the project saves carbon providing provide electricity for Monheganians

May 2, 2017

Me Legis Committee hears testimony for and against bill challenging Monhegan floating wind farm siting.

On May 2, 2017, the Maine Legislature's Energy Utilities and Technology  Committee heard testimony for and against LD 1262  An Act To Protect Monhegan Island by Limiting Wind Turbines.   Below, listen to mp3s of each speaker

Full hearing 3hr 31min  (hearing was already underway)


Intro by Maine Senator Dana Dow Lincoln County  5min (in progress)


Travis Dow 4min 46sec 

Kathie Ianicelli. 3min 10sec  Monhegan


Angela Monroe Governor's Energy Office & QA 12min


Jessica Stevens 3min30sec

Tara Heyer 4min38sec


Cole Lord  2min30sec


John Murdoch 2min 54sec


Marian Joffee  5min45sec


Angela Ianicelli  3min 40sec

Chris Oneill  3min 15sec


Don Lathrop 3min 35sec


Winnie Murdoch, 3min 25sec

Mary Webber, 2min 35sec

George Hart, Tenants Hbr 2min35sec

Jackie Boegal 4min 15sec

Andrew Fennemann friends of Muscongus Bay. 4min 15sec

Julie Eaton MLU 3min 40sec

Kim Ervin Tucker  6min 50sec

Doug Boynton_Tenants Harbor. 1min32sec

Lucas Chaffee  3min 17sec

Speaker from__plantation. 2min30sec

David Edson of James Sewall Co 3min 18sec

Jay Morancy (?) 5min25sec

Mal Carey 3min 43sec

Jeff Thaler UMaine Counsel 15min

Waldo Wales, 3min 38sec

Paul Hitchcox_birder 3min 31sec

Chris Smith Monhegan power district. 1 min 25sec

Peabody Consultant 2min 5sec

____Weber_55sec

Jim Belanyea_METF 

Group of UME students & profs 12min 43sec

Anthony Viselli UME  3min 50sec

Robin McCoy 3min 30sec

Alison Hill 1min30sec

Joyce Blakeney 2min 45sec

Pamela Rollinger 3min

Barbara Hitchcock 2min 45sec

Haley MacDougal  2min 32sec

Habib Dagher & QA 7min

Dylan Vorhees NRCM  3min 30sec

Derek Lovitch 3min 13sec

Kathy Leeman 3min_45sec

Doug Hitchcox  3min22sec

Dan Reilly 4min 28sec

James Monroe 2min18sec

Jake Ward 5min 45sec

Susanne McDonald to end 3min 4sec




































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Maine Legislature's Agriculture Conservation & Forestry Mommittee hears pesticide bill LD 1505

Apr 27, 2017

Maine aquaculture - Big changes coming Monday

On Monday, the Maine Legislature holds public hearings on bills promising big changes to Maine's aquaculture laws. Links to the bills below and at the Marine Resources Committee webpage http://legislature.maine.gov/audio/#206 (scroll down to Monday)

Official summary "This bill transfers authority for the licensing of land-based aquaculture from the Department of Marine Resources to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry."

Official Summary:"This bill amends the law regarding municipal shellfish conservation programs to clarify that the intertidal zone extends from the high-water mark to the extreme low-water mark and that the shellfish conservation ordinances apply only within the intertidal zones of municipalities."

Official Summary "This bill creates an aquaculture license that exempts the holder from certain requirements in law to hold a separate license for the removal, possession, transport or sale of cultured marine organisms and authorizes the holder to remove, possess, transport or sell cultured marine organisms."

Official summary "This bill amends the aquaculture leasing and licensing laws. It removes the prohibition on the provision by the Department of Marine Resources of promotional and marketing assistance to the aquaculture industry. It extends the potential term of an aquaculture lease from 10 to 20 years. It changes the order of preference for lease applications to include in the 2nd position an individual who currently holds a limited-purpose aquaculture license for the area. It provides a process by which a holder of a standard lease could seek an expansion of the lease area by up to 10% once during the duration of the lease without having to apply for a new lease. It places the licensed activities and criteria for limited-purpose aquaculture licenses in separate statutory provisions. It requires a limited-purpose aquaculture license holder to specify if the license is for commercial or personal use and to identify the growing area and current classification of the area. It adds consideration of any risk to public health to the criteria used in determining whether to grant a limited-purpose aquaculture license. It adds to the eligibility criteria for a limited-purpose aquaculture license the completion of any educational courses that may be required by the Commissioner of Marine Resources."

Apr 22, 2017

Maine legislature 4/19/17 public hearing on scalloping bills LD68 & 1380. AUDIO MP3 & testimony

Listen below to speakers at the 4/19/17 public hearing on LD 68   &  LD 1380  "Owner-Operator Requirement in the Scallop and Sea Urchin Fisheries". (Both bills same name)

The two bills would require  scallop  vessels in Maine waters to be operated by their owners. This to prevent domination of the fishery by larger company-owned scallopers. (Written comments on the bill follow audio)

Full Public Hearing 1hr 53min  

individual speakers may not be in same order.) 

Intro by co chair Senator Joyce Maker 4min

Rep Lydia Blume Intros LD 68. 6min 27sec

Co chair Representative Walter Kumiega introduces LD 1380 7min


DMR Commssioner Pat Keliher & Q&A 21min 


Keliher comments only  7min  ** Keliher QA only 13min

Brian Thomas Me Ctr for Coastal Fisheries  8min

Glenn Libby  Port Clyde 3min 41 sec


Togue Brawn 8min 33sec 

Bill Anderson, Trescott 6min 4sec

Gary Libby 3min40sec

Pete Gasperini, Vinalhaven,  5min

Alex Todd 2min  Casco Bay scalloper 

Brian Soper, diver, Harpswell.& QA  9min 30sec
Andrew House, South Bristol, 45sec  

Reggie House 1 min 7sec


Brian Preney, Boothbay, 2min40sec
Jim Ackley, Machias. 45sec

George "Butch" Harris. Eastport 3min 41sec

James West,  Sorrento, 4min 45sec


Doug McLennan, Spruce Head  3min

Kim Tucker Islesboro. Atty repping ME Lobstering Union 8min 44sec


Public Hearing Testimony on Bills  LD 68 & LD 1302
Blume, LydiaMaine State Legislature
Hanscom, JimResident
Keliher, PatrickDepartment of Marine Resources
Olsen, VirginiaDeer Isle-Stonington
Raymond, MaggieAssociated Fisheries of Maine
Sutter, WilliamWiscasset
Thomas, BrianMaine Center for Coastal Fisheries
Tucker, KimMaine Lobstering Union



Mar 23, 2017

Maine bill could allow ocean windmills to dominate Gulf of Maine viewsheds

AUGUSTA.  A bill coming before the Maine Legislature today could prevent the citizens of dozens of coastal towns from objecting to having their ocean viewsheds dominated day and night by ocean windfarms' siting within eight miles of their shores.  Listen to 3/23/17 public hearing  recordings  (first hour)

This due to the bill's adoption of a thirty year old  incomplete and seriously flawed list of scenic viewsheds of "state and national significance".

LD 901 "An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Determination of a Wind Energy Development's Effect on the Scenic Character of Maine's Special Places"  does this by enshrining  an outdated and never completed complete  list of coastal Maine's  'official' scenic locations as the only locations deserving of a minimum 15 mile distance for viewshed protection

Ron Huber executive director of Friends of Penobscot Bay warned that  LD 901  would effectively prevent the citizens of more than a dozen coastal towns from objecting to having their ocean viewsheds dominated  by turning windmill blades by day  and by blinking red lights at night."

In Huber v BPL, 2011, Knox County Superior Court Justice Jeffrey Hjelm  was forced to make the absurd declaration that Monhegan lacks any scenic viewsheds of state or national significance, including the island's immensely popular Lobster Cove and Christmas Cove,  beaches reachable solely on foot, 

"These viewsheds are the subjects of 100s if not thousands of paintings, sculptures poems  and other paeans  to the island's seascape" Huber said.  But they are officially deemed insignificant because Maine Coastal Program  made never finalized its 1987 survey of scenic resources along themidcoast  Maine coast.

 Completion requires "field verification"  of aerial map. This was never carried out as noted in the Monhegan scenic map from page 128 of the 1987 report.

"The Environment asnd Natural Resources Committee should table  LD 901 and  direct Maine Coastal Program to update and complete its scenic survey of Midcoast Maine, including Monhegan, first,"  Huber said,   "Otherwise ocean windmills will be allowed to dominate Gulf of Maine viewsheds off Maine  with no accountability to the towns and cities whose viewsheds they would  economically and physically dominate."

Huber also said he hopes that  Maine Aqua Ventus' leaders Jake Ward and  Habib Dagher of the University of Maine  won't renege on their oft-repeated promises to site floating windfarms far enough from shore for the curvature of the earth to mask the renewable energy platforms'  blinking light arrays .

"Dr Dagher is an honorable man," Huber said Surely he'll keep his word ."

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