Climate change was on the agenda this month as the Yarmouth Town Council received updates on work to mitigate it at the state and local levels.

“We had some big wins this year,” Rep. Art Bell, D-Yarmouth, told the council Sept. 7.

Three bills related to climate change were signed into law, Bell said.

Legislation to advance offshore wind energy in the state, LD 1895, will open the doors for federal money to come into Maine to tap into the offshore wind energy opportunities on the Gulf of Maine, he said. The act will create jobs in Maine and could benefit small towns like Yarmouth.

“Yarmouth is uniquely positioned to be a part of the future of offshore wind in Maine,” Councilor Karin Orenstein said.

A solar law, LD 1986, will create a more targeted and transparent solar energy storage program. Town Manager Nat Tupper lobbied hard for the bill, Bell said.


Also signed into law was a bottle bill, LD 1909, which will modernize Maine’s bottle redemption program and continue to reduce litter while increasing recycling.

“Maine was one of the first states in the country to have a bottle bill, and it has been wildly successful,” Bell said.

At the local level, the Yarmouth Climate Action Task Force hopes to deliver a draft of a climate action plan to the council in November, Sustainability Coordinator Meddy Smith said.

Created last fall, the task force is working to develop strategies to reduce town-wide emissions, build resilience and prepare for climate change.

“Everyone has a role to play as far as drafting and creating this plan, but also implementing it,” Smith said.

The community will have the opportunity to get involved at a workshop Oct. 10.

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