Maine’s Bottled Water Industry Taps into $11.8 Billion Dollar Trend.

Mainebiz – Monday, January 27, 2014

Sales of bottled water are on track to top those of carbonated soft drinks by 2020, driven by health-conscious, on-the-go consumers. That thirst for water has cascaded throughout the country over the past two decades. Maine alone has 18 bottled water plants. Perrier bought Poland Spring in 1980 when the Maine-based operation was almost bankrupt, and then Nestlé purchased Perrier in 1992. Nestlé sells Poland Spring, Perrier, S. Pellegrino, Pure Life and Arrowhead among its dozens of worldwide water brands.

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North Anson’s Carrabec students pledge to reduce waste from plastic bottles, help environment

Morning Sentinel, January 23, 2014 NORTH ANSON — High school freshman Emily Poulin is used to drinking bottled water at home, even though she says it isn’t the best option for the environment. At school, though, Poulin has started to carry a reusable stainless steel water bottle between classes.

“I feel like it’s important to save the Earth. Not a lot of people do it, and some people think it’s not really worth doing or don’t want to try at it, but I do,” Poulin said.
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The Future Progressive – Thoughts from the Activist Frontline

The Portland Phoenix , by Lance Tapley January 16, 2014

In my decades as a journalist, I’ve heard Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” countless times at activist gatherings. In the 50-plus years since the song was released, it’s become an anthem for people working for social change.

But when I heard it at the January 9 progressives’ rally at the State House, sung by a young woman to launch the event, I wondered what even a partial answer might be to the question it asks: How many times, years, deaths will it take until a far more decent society is created?
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East West Highway opponents travel state showing documentary

WCSH6 News, WlBZ2 News


SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A group opposed to an East-West Highway through Maine has produced a documentary video and is traveling the state and hosting showings in several communities. An East West Highway is something that Cianbro Corporation has put its support behind. It would be a privately built, owned, and operated route stretching from Calais in the East to Coburn Gore in the West. Chris Buchanan, the statewide coordinator for Stop the East West Corridor is taking the 30 minute documentary to communities around the state to convince them this is not a good move for Maine. Wednesday, she’ll be at a showing  at the Southwest Harbor Public Library.




Charleston residents ‘pass over’ ordinance to block east-west highway

Bangor Daily News , Dec. 14, 2013

CHARLESTON, Maine — Even with extra chairs brought in, it was still standing room only at Saturday’s special town meeting, where residents voted to pass on considering a rights-based ordinance designed to stop the proposed east-west corridor.

The decision to pass over the proposed ordinance nullified it, town officials said.

“There is a flaw in the definition section,” Bob Lodato, one of the backers of the rights-based ordinance, informed those gathered at the Charleston Community Center. “We plan to continue working in order to develop another option to stop the east-west highway.”

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Cianbro remains committed to east-west highway project despite opposition, company official says

Bangor Daily News, Dec. 13, 2013

Plans for a proposed east-west highway continue to move forward despite a flurry of towns adopting measures to keep it away from their land, according to a leading proponent of the project.

Darryl Brown, the Cianbro Corp. project manager for the east-west highway, said there is still no mapped route to divulge, as he is still working with landowners and dealing with environmental issues.

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Maine Passamaquoddy Tribe Hopes to Build Bottled Water Plant

Star Telegram

INDIAN TOWNSHIP, Maine — Tucked in the nation’s northeastern corner, the Passamaquoddy tribe’s ancestral land remains as it was centuries ago: Rugged and teeming with natural beauty and wildlife. Snow-covered in winter, springtime warmth reveals a rolling landscape, lakes and ponds — and dozens of bubbling springs.

But there is an ugly reality inside this idyllic community: Joblessness is rampant, making it hard for residents to feed their families. The tribe also needs more money to bolster public safety and other tribal services.

The leadership has been working on a bold plan to address these issues: Capitalize on the land’s pristine spring water by building a 123,000-square-foot bottling plant and selling the water to customers outside of the tribal land.

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TransCanada Has Already Had To Fix 125 Dents and Sags in Southern Keystone Pipeline

CREDIT: Public Citizen

Synthetic crude oil hasn’t yet entered the southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline, but a report releasedTuesday by non-profit consumer rights group Public Citizen says the pipes are already bending, sagging and peeling to the point of a possible spill or leakage of toxic tar sands.

Drawing on the accounts of landowners, citizens and former workers of TransCanada, the report documents alleged construction problems and engineering code violations along the Texas portion of the pipeline, proved by what the group says is a staggering amount of excavations to correct dents and patch holes. Public Citizen is calling on the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration to review TransCanada’s construction quality assurance records for possible federal violations, and perform a complete re-testing of the pipeline to see if the repairs work.

“The government should investigate, and shouldn’t let crude flow until that is done,” Public Citizen’s Texas office director Tom Smith said in a statement. “Given the stakes — the potential for a catastrophic spill of hazardous crude along a pipeline that traverses hundreds of streams and rivers and comes within a few miles of some towns and cities — it would be irresponsible to allow the pipeline to start operating.”

One of the landowners cited in the study is David Whitley, a self-described “go-along guy” who owns an 80-acre plot of land in Texas which the pipeline crosses.

At first Whitley cooperated with TransCanada’s construction crew and did not dispute construction of the pipeline, deciding that “I wasn’t going to let it give me any more gray hairs,” Whitley said on a conference call with reporters. His attitude changed, however, when workers returned months after construction to do a visual inspection. The workers dug a hole in the ground of Whitley’s property, and he got his first look at Keystone.

“It changed my attitude seeing what was running underneath my property,” Whitley said, noting that there were two red marks on the pipeline that said “dented, cut out.” The pipeline, he said, was resting on a rock.

The report cites more than 125 excavations in 250 miles of possible problems with pipe that had been buried for months. The report says TransCanada is touting the excavation and subsequent pipe replacements as a demonstration of its commitment to safety, but Public Citizen’s report says the company is in danger of of repeating its tainted history of problems with pipeline construction and safety. From the report:

During the construction of Keystone I, TransCanada pledged to meet 50 special conditions. But more than 47 anomalies along the line in four states had to be retested, and the Keystone I line spilled 12 times in the first year of operation.

In July 2011, TransCanada’s Bison natural gas pipeline exploded within the first six months of operation, blowing out an approximate 40-foot section of pipe. TransCanada had been warned of potential quality problems with construction and inspection.

In the 1990s, Iroquois Pipeline Operations, a subsidiary of TransCanada Pipelines Ltd., and four senior executives pleaded guilty to knowingly violating environmental and safety provisions of the pipeline construction permit. Iroquois executives had promised a pipeline of exceptional safety. [It crosses the historic territory of Iroquois Confederacy thru present-day NY & CT!]

The report also calls on Congress to hold oversight hearings to make sure that PHMSA investigates and addresses the safety of the pipeline. Smith said PHMSA should perform two tests: A so-called “Hydro test,” which pressurizes the pipeline to levels higher than it would normally experience, and an “caliper inline inspection,” which would look for problems on the inside of the pipeline.

“The consequences of a failure would be grave,” Smith said. “Our goal is to try and make sure if it operates it is operated as safely as possible and that the line itself secures the product to make sure that we don’t create additional problems down the line.”





Charleston to Weigh Ordinance Blocking East West Corridor

Bangor Daily News, Nov. 12, 2013

Charleston residents overwhelmingly voted to renew a moratorium on development of a corridor for a proposed east-west highway last week, and soon the town will have the opportunity to vote on an ordinance to prohibit the corridor.


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Republican Primary Looming for Thomas, Davis, In State Senate Race

Two popular Republican lawmakers have announced their intentions to run for Senate District 4, covering most of Piscataquis County, nine towns in Somerset County and six in western Penobscot County.

State Sen. Doug Thomas of Ripley filed his intentions with the Secretary of State to seek a third term on Friday, Nov. 1, the same day that State Rep. Paul Davis of Sangerville said he was also running for the seat.



Republican primary looming for Thomas and Davis in state Senate race