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June 25 | Environment & Energy Updates

With 10 staff - including four UMaine engineering grads and three SMCC cad experts - APEX Engineering is one of our small business members. Most recently they have been doing lots of work in the renewable natural gas sector. These involve larger dairy farms (7 to 10 thousand) that are clustered together, and the dairy manure is converted to natural gas, which flows into natural gas pipelines. Though based in Maine, they have PE licenses in 35 states, and mostly work on projects west of the Mississippi. They are extremely knowledgeable on anaerobic digesters, gas upgrading, compression, and writing specifications for equipment and budgets for engineering, procurement and construction.

Several Maine municipalities are members of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. ICLEI just launched a new Ramp Up Resilience website. Dedicated to advancing urban resilient development and creating healthy and thriving cities, it has a wealth of resources, projects and activities on urban resilience.

On June 18, 2024, the Maine Climate Council was presented with draft climate strategies compiled by its expert working groups and task forces for potential inclusion in the update. The draft recommendations are organized by working group and/or task force. Each section has a slide summary of the draft recommendations and a link to the full draft recommendations. After reading the draft recommendations, they invite you to complete a short survey about how each draft recommendation may fit with your community. By Law, the Council must update the plan by 12/1/24.

After being detected in the Camden area in 2021, an updated Maine Forest Service map shows that in 2024 Beach Leaf Disease has expanded into the south-eastern part of Maine. Discovered in Ohio in 2017, BLD is a lethal disease caused by the invasive nematode Litylenchus crenatae mccannii. Since beechnuts are an important source of food for bears, deer, turkeys and other species, BLD may remove another foundational tree from the Eastern Forests, an outcome similar to that of Dutch Elm Disease or the Chestnut Blight. The Maine Forest Service is asking for the public’s help in identifying additional areas impacted by BLD. Photos of suspected symptomatic leaves can be submitted via an online form. If possible, photos should include a clear shot of the underside of an affected leaf or leaves, however, please report concerns even if those photos cannot be provided.

Efficiency Maine Trust has issued 4 RFPs for Level 2 Electric Vehicle chargers as a part of the state’s Recharge Maine initiative. Apply today for funding at multifamily buildingslarge workplaces, community locations, and regional service centers at selected communities around the state.

Some may have heard that The Holy Donut had the Grand Opening of their fifth store last month - on Pleasant Street in Brunswick. They are famous for their signature potato donuts that use par-boiled potatoes. You probably don't know that the Maine Technology Institute provided them with funding earlier in their development to help build its manufacturing line and scale operations -- one of the many ways the MTI is supporting the development and application of a wide array of technologies.

While the status of the $100M+ expansion plan for the Portland Museum of Art is unclear, the $200M+ plan to redevelop the old B&M Baked Bean Factory into the Portland Campus for Northeastern University's Roux Institute got the OK, and the Yard South initiative to create about 1,000 housing units on 30 acres on the South Portland waterfront is moving forward.

Because of our expertise in architecture, engineering, environmental assessment, construction, and sustainability, many E2Tech members are involved in the redevelopment of older properties. The $80M plan to redevelop the Continental Mill in Lewiston got the OK from the planning board. With the involvement of CEI, MaineHousing and others, the massive project calls for the creation of 377 rental apartments, 20,000 square feet of offices, 20,000 square feet of space for light industry and 5,000 square feet of restaurant space. 

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