Friday, June 09, 2006

Long-time environmental advocate and candidate Jon Hinck has offered his ideas to Mayor Cohen’s Sustainable Portland Task Force. In a brief paper to other Task Force members, Hinck offered a definition and benchmarks of sustainablity and a list of possible priorities. Hinck is a member of the Task Force and is also running for the office of State Representative in District #118.

Hinck’s priorities for action on sustainability include the following:

-New efforts to protect Sebago Lake watershed, the source of drinking water for Portland and other Southern Maine communities. The high quality of Sebago Lake water is threatened by sprawl, by every new acre of asphalt and by the array of toxics that follow population, business and industry.

-Major new initiatives to increase energy efficiency and showcase renewable energy. The greatest, most cost-effective strides can still be made in the area of increased efficiency, including weatherizing private and public buildings, and encouraging green building design. Portland should also consider initiatives to reduce vehicle idling and to showcase solar arrays on rooftops in the city.

-Plant trees. One of the oldest pro-environmental initiatives is still among the best ways to make a city more livable. New trees should be well chosen for shade, attractiveness, heartiness and other positive attributes.

-Develop an effort to reduce the amount of persistent, bio-accumulative toxics in the products bought and used here and the garbage that is currently sent for incineration.

For the last three years Hinck was staff attorney for the Natural Resources Council of Maine and has long worked on environmental matter. While at NRCM, Hinck spearheaded the efforts that led to passage and implementation of Maine’s landmark electronic waste recycling law passed in 2004. That law, based on the principle of product stewardship, is now a national model for protecting the environment from toxics in computers and other high tech gear.


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