Foot and Paddle: Flagstaff Lake and Flagstaff Hut by Snowshoe

first_imgDoug DunlapIn a land of striking high peak profiles, the Bigelow Range, rises in particularly dramatic fashion. Six named peaks top an 18-mile, east-west running ridge. Two of them, only 0.7 mile apart, the twinned Avery and West Peak, are among Maine’s 14 peaks over 4,000 feet elevation. Two more summits, North and South Horn, rise as another set of twins, each of them close to 3,800 feet. Rock-topped Cranberry Peak stands at the far west end; elongated Little Bigelow Mountain runs to the eastern end.One of my favorite vantage points for a fine view of the BIgeow’s is the east shore of Flagstaff Lake, the 23-mile zig-zag body of water lying north of the Bigelow Range. Much of the shoreline is in the Bigelow Preserve, undeveloped, magnificent in wild beauty, and persistently quiet – save for the sound of the wind and an occasional raven’s call. I am out on the lake by canoe or kayak from ice-out to fall. In winter I head for the shoreline by cross-country skis or snowshoes.So it is that on one mid-week, mixed-weather, winter day, a hiking companion and I head out on snowshoes to explore the far eastern shoreline of Flagstaff Lake – and make a mid-day stop at Flagstaff Hut of Maine Huts and Trails. The forecast is for snow squalls with shafts of sunlight breaking in from time to time, winds alternately whipping up and subsiding to utter calm – a mix!Sun breaking through on Flagstaff LakeOur starting point is the Maine Huts Trailhead on the Long Falls Dam Road, 22 miles north of the village of North New Portland. A parking area stands 0.1 mile west of the road, with the entrance marked by a prominent sign. A trailhead kiosk displays a map of the Bigelow Preserve and Flagstaff Lake, and the Maine Huts trail system. There are a good many ski and snowshoe tracks. This a popular spot, though I have never found it to be crowded.Our trek begins with a short 0.2 hike in the direction of the lake, where we have three options: (1) The groomed Maine Huts ski trail 1.8 miles north to the hut; (2) the Shore Trail, a 1.8 mile snowshoe route to the hut; or (3) the lakeshore itself, where the sand and cobble beach lies underneath a thick covering of lake ice and snow. The best views – with the most exposure to weather– are from the beach route. That is our choice, for a meandering outing of about 2.5 miles to reach the hut; 5.0 miles round-trip.I know that if the squalls bear in on us in particularly rough fashion, we can step into the woods to pick up the Shore Trail – which is just enough back from the lake and among the firs, spruce, and cedar, that we would gain relief from the wind.We emerge from woods to start the main stretch of our hike on the lakeshore – and Wow! The Bigelow Range rises dramatically above the south shore, Ragged gray cloudcover tops Avery and West Peak sign that the winds are a-blowing strong up there. North and South Horn stand at a cant farther west on the ridge, their pointed peaks free of clouds. Between Avery Peak and Little Bigelow Mountain, the exposed ledge of Old Man’s Head, hangs above rugged Safford Notch. To the north of the lake, distinctively named Picked Chicken Hill (Have a look and you will see why), Flagstaff and Blanchard Mountains run along the horizon.Pressure ridge, Flagstaff LakeThe lake level is low at this time of year. Water has been drawn down at Long Falls Dam to send flow down the Dead Rover to Wyman Lake and dam on the Kennebec River, to make electricity. That is to our advantage, for the lowered water level leaves broad snow-covered beach for our hike. It gives us more than that, though, for about us we see the remains of a time when there was no lake here, the pre-1950 era before Long Falls Dam went into operation. The dam flooded the Dead River Valley and the three communities of Flagstaff, Dead River, and Bigelow. In summer paddlers may see foundations of buildings long-since removed, and the impressions left by old roads that drop from lakeside hills into the lake bed.I see neither of those at this east end, but I do find the stumps of pine, rock maple, and much else, which were harvested prior to formation of the lake.Rock outcrops, which decades ago were largely hidden in the midst of the forest, and surely were moss and undergrowth-covered, stand exposed, the soil which once bordered them or covered them, washed away by time. One great stump, surely that of an Eastern White Pine, rises on the now-exposed shore. I measure it with my hiking pole. It is four feet across at the cut! Henry David Thoreau wrote of stumps in the Maine woods broad enough to stand a pair of oxen. This stump before me, vestige of an earlier time, does not meet that size, but it is still impressive, indeed.Onward! I crunch across crusty snow, overlaying the ice, shoreline woods to my right, the vast white expanse of the lake to the west. The sky is a swirl of gray, the day like a black and white photograph. We hike on, among occasional stumps, around outcrops of a darker gray and jet-black, find that our route intersects with those of deer, and of coyote. Their prints emerge from the woods, extend out into the lake, fade from view. A story – or stories, – there.The wind picks up. Snowflakes whip by, on horizontal. A bank of low, dark clouds drives in our direction. A low roar displaces the silence of the day. Snow squall! I adjust my neck warmer and balaclava, to protect my face; and snug the hood of my hiking parka and wind shell. Bang! I am buffeted, but press on. I am warm, and visibility is more than adequate – guided by the shoreline which is well within sight. Besides, I like a bit of wild and woolly weather. It is the real deal! This is the Maine winter on its own terms, with its own beauty, even on a gray and wind-blown day.We reach a point on the shore where I know the Shore Trail makes an angle towards the hut. We studied a map of the lake closely before we set out on foot, and carry it with us. I head for the woods, pick up the trail. Here I am impressed with the trailside growth, particularly great eastern white cedar up to 20 inches across. Good place to be a cedar. I imagine, with ample moisture, a fair amount of sunlight, just in from the shore and therefore not likely to be harvested.Although we have the gear and clothing to have our lunch just about anywhere – including a closed cell mat for sitting on the snow, – we take advantage of the nearby location of Flagstaff Hut. For the day traveler, the hut offers a place to be out of the weather, sit in the great room, warm up, replenish drinking water.We meet the caretaker, Kati, a graduate of the University of Maine at Presque Isle, who is in for a week, along with other Maine Huts and Trails personnel who come by to groom the ski trail, and take care of maintenance. The hut is open for overnight guests who may use the kitchen to make their own meals. Heat and hot water comes from a wood boiler. There is no set fee for day use, but we add our contribution to a donation jar – grateful for the trails, maps, and the facility itself. (For overnight stays, including reservations and rates, contact mainehuts.org). I packed in homemade whole wheat macaroni and cheese, Maine-baked bagels, and hot peppermint tea. My appetite stoked, I tuck in to lunch. Over our food we swap stories of the Maine woods, the Adirondacks, Alaska; talk of winter birds, including the resident snowy owl who often perches outside the front door, and ruffed grouse, whose tracks I had spotted in the near woods.Sun breaking through on Flagstaff Lake.Back on trail, back into the land of gray, black, and white, we head north to the point of the peninsula beyond the hut. There, a white birch-lined promontory juts toward the lake. Clouds lift enough to show Picked Chicken Hill to the north. We skirt the shoreline in our return hike, moving in and out of rock formations, exploring the nearby tree-lined coves, as we head south.I round the peninsula to behold the great gray-white expanse of the lake extending to the west, disappearing into the gray of the day. Nearer, pressure ridges have formed, thrusting great slabs of ice upward. Their broken edges snake out of sight onto the lake, like the marking of the collision of ancient continental plates. The wind continues its rise and fall, and snow and ice pellets pepper me, but now my back is to the wind, and I am warmly dressed. I simply enjoy the show! On we go, looking outward for views, and downward for more tracks – to discover coyote prints in the snow, yet again.The gift of the day! Once menacing clouds separate high above the Bigelow Range in a peculiar S-slice. Sunlight streaks through this angular gap, plays on the nearby clouds, drops a thin shaft of new light onto the lake. Quite the sight! Such is the joy of heading out on a day of less-than perfect weather. This Flagstaff Lake day bears its own beauty, its own perfection, discoveries not be to made on the clearest of days.We work our way along so-called Mile Beach, move southward with Little Bigelow in the distance. Once we reach an agreed time to head back to the trailhead, I consult our map, we step away from the lake, and with a bit of reluctance to leave the wildness of the day, begin the journey home.Tips: I never cross a body of water in winter without careful inspection of the ice, and without speaking to authorities familiar with ice formation on that water. Under the ice, spring holes, stream inlets or outlets, currents, can weaken what appears to be solid ice.Carry wind protection: neck and face warmers, balaclava, wool or fleece cap that covers the ears, ski-goggles – such that no skin is exposed. Mittens, with over-mitts or with liners, provide more warmth than gloves. Wool or wicking synthetic base layer, wool or fleece warmth layer, and a breathable rain/wind shell are a recommended layering “sandwich” for cold weather. Even a warm winter day can turn sharply cold in the face of strong winds.Carry a map that details both trails and the surrounding terrain. Show everyone in the party the route to be taken. Winter is the best season to identify animal tracks. Carry a chart or book of tracks and discover the creatures with whom we share our Maine woods!We have this striking landscape in our Western Maine backyard! Enjoy it in winter!Doug Dunlap is a Registered Maine Guide [email protected] and photos – Copyright 2020Douglas Allan Dunlap513 Holley RoadFarmington ME 04938last_img read more

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March 16, 2019 Police Blotter

first_imgMarch 16, 2019 Police Blotter031619 Decatur County Fire Report031619 Decatur County EMS Report031619 Decatur County Jail Report031619 Decatur County Law Reportlast_img

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NFF’s Committee Submits Damning Report on Why Nasarawa Utd’s Player Died

first_imgDuro IkhazuagbeThe Adhoc Committee on Safety and Security set up by the Nigeria Football Federation ((NFF) to unravel the circumstances that led to the death of Nasarawa United’s player, Chineme Martins in March, 2020 submitted its report to the federation yesterday with damning revelations.The Committee headed by respected Member of CAF’s Committee on Sports Medicine, Dr Peter Singabele, while submitting the report in a virtual conference to NFF’s President, Amaju Pinnick, revealed that Nasarawa United had neither a medical doctor nor a physiotherapist at the stadium on the day Martins collapsed and died during a NPFL home game at the Lafia Township Stadium. Chineme Martins “Instead, Nasarawa United had a retired community health assistant heading its medical team. And this led to the mismanagement of the rescucitation process of Martins,” revealed the report.It also noted that there was no functional ambulance stationed at the stadium on that fateful day.“There was no functional ambulance at the stadium as at the time of the incident, which led to a faulty evacuation process, and the player died before he could reach the hospital and; Nasarawa FA and Nasarawa United FC failed in their duties to put in place emergency medical services for the match,” stressed the report.Although the report admitted its handicap in getting an autopsy carried out on the late footballer due to the refusal of the family of the late footballer to release the body for the physical examination, it recommended that to forestall a repeat of such unnecessary death on Nigerian pitches, all clubs should have a minimum of one qualified medical officer and a physiotherapist.“All club players must undergo mandatory PCMA in line with CAF and FIFA standards; clubs must keep adequate medical records of players and officials and; there must be mandatory pre-season basic medical screening.”It also recommended things that home teams must provide before games should start; safety and security precautions to be assured by the State Football Association.It recommended the temporary suspension of the club from all NFF organised competitions.“The Nasarawa FA should be temporarily suspended from hosting all NFF-organized matches (including domestic league matches) until some clearly stated conditions are met.“The player (Martins) must be immortalized. Nasarawa United FC should pay a fine of N10million to the LMC for non-compliance with Club Licensing Regulations and violation of NPFL Framework and Rules, and should pay all financial entitlements of the late Martins immediately, including arrears of salaries and insurance benefits, if any.”While receiving the report in a virtual presentation, NFF President, Pinnick, praised the efforts of the federation’s Adhoc Committee on Safety and Security for a good job.Pinnick was categorical that the country’s supreme football –governing body would study the nitty-gritty of the committee’s recommendations with a view to implementing all.“I want to give kudos to the Chairman and Members of this committee for the thorough job they have done. I am not surprised because we brought together perhaps the best team possible in the land for such an assignment.“Your job was made more arduous given that it was at a time of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, and at a time, it was only your committee that was doing any work in football. Yet, you never wavered in painstakingly attending to every detail of the assignment.”The NFF boss said that the Federation would convey the full report, after it must have been signed by the members and at the resumption of football activities in the country, to the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare.He also assured that the NFF will compel all the relevant organs concerned with security, safety and medical protocols at domestic matches to up their game, while insisting that any club that fails to comply one hundred per cent with the requirements of the Club Licensing regulations will be barred from competing in the league.“If at the end of the day, we have to scale down to playing league matches in only a few stadia that can provide functional ambulances and qualified medical personnel with capable referral hospitals, so be it,” he concludedMembership of the Committee include: Dr. Peter Singabele (Chairman); Mazi Amanze Uchegbulam (Member); Alh. Ibrahim Musa Gusau (Member); Alh. Abba Yola (Member); Otunba Tade Azeez (Member); Dr. Paul Onyeudo (Member); Mallam Salihu Abubakar (Member); Dr. Ibrahim Gyaran (Member); Mr. Tijani Babangida (Member); Mr. Francis Adejoh (Member); Mr. Oladuni Oyekale (Member); Mr. Ademola Olajire (Member); Miss Remi Kisu Sulola (Member); Mr. China Acheru (Secretary).Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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New women’s tennis head coach begins a new era

first_imgWomen’s tennis has kicked off the season with a splash, clinching the home opener against University of San Diego, 6-1. Despite the departure of long-time head coach Richard Gallien, his replacement  Alison Swain started a new era on the right track. Swain, who led her previous team at Williams College to eight NCAA Division III championships and a 224-28 record, has large shoes to fill. Although the Women of Troy never made it to the finals under Gallien, he still held an impressive 367-144 record at USC.According to the USC Trojans website, Swain plans to take her new position step-by-step as she works with her new team. “I think our immediate goal is about process,” she said. “It’s about creating a structure for our players to be successful and develop on-court as players, and then it’s about creating a great team culture.”Women’s tennis ended the 2016-17 season 13-11, but fell to University of Denver in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The tennis team looks to make an even stronger showing this season with returning nationally-ranked ITA singles and doubles players.Among them is senior captain Gabby Smith, who enters the season ranked No. 35 in the country. In 2017, she had a record of 23-9 in singles play, whose matches helped secure an upset against UCLA and a win against LMU. Senior Madison Westby ended last season with a 24-13 singles record and claimed the No. 85 slot. Junior Rianna Valdes and sophomore Angela Kulikov also carved spots on the national rankings for doubles at No. 46. Valdes and Kulikov had a 3-0 record in the fall.This season, the women’s tennis team welcomes three new Trojans. Freshman Alexa Corcoleotes comes to USC as the No. 39 player in her class, with a Gold Ball in doubles at the 2016 Women’s Grass Court Nationals and a Silver Ball in the 2016 Women’s Hard Court Nationals.The team also brings on two transfer students. Sophomore Constance Branstine joins the women’s tennis team after completing a year at UC Irvine, and sophomore Rebecca Weissmann arrives after a year at Louisiana State.Branstine played No. 1 singles and doubles at UCI, and was selected to play singles in the 2017 All-Big West First Team. Weissmann played No. 5 singles and No. 2 doubles, and was ranked as high as 12th in the nation in high school.Hopes are high for the upcoming season as the Women of Troy have already had a promising start, even before their first game. They opened up the season with two trophies from the Battle of the Bay under their belt.Weissmann proved her worth by winning the Women’s Open Singles and another trophy with Kulikov, her doubles partner from the Women’s Doubles Open Championship.The USC women’s tennis team dominated USD on Sunday, winning all three doubles matches and only dropping one in singles. Swain told USC Athletics that she was pleased with her team’s performance.“I thought today was a great opening match for our program,” Swain said. “I was really proud of how much we fought and stayed focus throughout the whole match, regardless of the score. Most importantly we competed as a team today, which was our goal.”This weekend, the women’s tennis team finishes up their three-game home-stand as they take on LMU on Jan. 19 at 1:30 p.m., and UCSB on Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. Neither school is ranked in the top 25, but LMU boasts two nationally-ranked freshmen on their roster.last_img read more

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Micho names team to face Zambia and Congo Brazzaville

first_imgCranes training at Lugogo today. FUFA MEDIASaturdayUganda vs Kampala region Select XINovember 8International friendly: Uganda vs ZambiaNovember 122018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualfier-Africa Zone: Uganda vs Congo BrazzavilleUganda coach Sredejovic ‘Micho’ Milutin has named a Cranes squad to prepare to face Zambia in a friendly on November 8 and for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifier against Congo Brazzaville on November 12.Nineteen foreign based players who will later be joined by eleven local based players will make a total of 30 to prepare for the two encounters.While speaking at the FUFA weekly press conference in Mengo on Wednesday, Micho said that the 11 local based players will be selected from the the 22 who will feature for the Uganda Cranes in the Kampala region tour on Saturday  at the Mutesa II Memorial Stadium in Wankulukuku.Micho, who was flanked by the assistant coach Moses Basena , FUFA Communications Manager Ahmed Hussein and the sponsors Airtel Uganda and Nile Breweries Limited representative Bobkins Kibirige, said he is giving players two chances to prove their worth.“We have summoned 19 professionals and 22 locally based players all of whom have equal chances to fight for the places on the final team against Congo Brazzaville. First we have a match against the Kampala regional team at Wankulukuku on Saturday, then the Zambian friendly match,” Micho said.The team started training on Wednesday with a test match.Uganda started their World Cup campaign by holding Ghana to a goalless draw away last month.List of the foreign based playersGoalkeepers: Denis Onyango, Robert Odongkara, Salim Jamal Magola Defenders: Denis Iguma, Walusimbi Godffrey, Isaac Isinde, Murshid Juuko, Ronald Mukiibi, Mike AziraMidfielders: Shafic Batambuze,Godffrey Baba Kizito, Tonny Mawejje, Yassar Mugerwa, Moses Oloya,Khalid AuchoStrikers: Faruku Miya, Yunus Sentamu, William Kizito Luwagga and Geoffrey MassaThe 22 Local Based playersGoalkeepers: Benjamin Ochan, Ismail WatengaDefenders: Nicholas Wadada, Denis Okot , Joseph Nsubuga, Hassan Wasswa, Joseph Ochaya, Kasagga Richard , Awanyi Timoth , Halid LwaliwaMidfileders: Muzamil Mutyaba, Kizito Keziron, Sadam Juma, Shafic Kajimu,Lwesibawa Godffrey, Kayiwa Allan, Vitalis Tabu Abdul Malik,Strikers: Muhammad Shaban, Geoffrey Serunkuma, Edrisa Lubega, Erisa Sekisambu, Derrick Nsibambi.WWW.FUFA.CO.UG****[email protected] on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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England pair win Fairhaven Trophies in style

first_img Tags: elite golf, England squads, Fairhaven Trophies Rosie Belsham and Callum Macfie led a great weekend for England at the Fairhaven Trophies in Lancashire, where they respectively won the girls’ and boys’ titles in great style.Belsham, from Whitley Bay, Northumberland, powered to 23-under par and a 20 shot win over Darcey Harry of Wales. It’s the lowest gross ever recorded in the Fairhaven Trophies, beating the best boys’ score by four and the best girls’ score by 11.Meanwhile, Macfie, from Lindrick in Yorkshire, birdied the last two holes for a two-shot victory – and a triumphant return from injury.It’s the biggest win to date for both players (pictured top), who train with England squads. For Belsham, there was the added pleasure of beating par over 72 holes for the first time – and the vindication for making swing changes over the last fortnight. Macfie, who finished on seven-under, won his title at his third and final attempt before leaving junior ranks.Belsham, playing against a par of 75, shot 70 68 69 70. Her seven-under 68 is her lowest-ever score and, over the championship, she had four eagles. “I’m very pleased,” she said. “It’s my first win in a national event so I’m very happy.”Two weeks ago the 17-year-old decided to make significant swing changes and worked hard on the range to groove them. “It really paid off,” she said.“I knew my short game was in really good shape, I just didn’t have any expectation of my long game. But after the first round I was paying good!”Macfie, 18, had to take six weeks out last season after injuring his left side, so his win is particularly sweet. “My injury set me back and my confidence was a little bit low. But with my coach and my training (in the gym) I’ve got to a place where I’m injury free and swinging pain free and that’s made the difference. And I played my heart out.”Macfie opened with two-over 74, but after his second round 68 he was in third place at the halfway stage and four shots off the lead, set by his Yorkshire team-mate Ben Schmidt. “I didn’t try and push too hard today, I just gave myself chances and didn’t put myself under too much pressure.“It was really exciting coming down the stretch, Ben was playing well, Tiger (Christensen from Germany) was doing well a couple of groups ahead. It was a pressure situation, but I came out on top,” said Macfie who shot 70 69 in the last two rounds.Christensen was runner-up on five-under, followed by Schmidt (Rotherham) on four under. Three other English players were in the top 10: Remy Miller (Prestbury, Cheshire) was fifth; Jamie Marwick (Corhampton, Hampshire) was ninth and Jacob Kelso (Kings Hill, Kent) was 10th.Belsham also teamed up with George Leigh (Trevose, Cornwall) and Dominic Clemons (Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire) to win the team prize for England. Belsham is pictured with Leigh.Click here for full scores 5 May 2019 England pair win Fairhaven Trophies in style last_img read more

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Sheffield Wednesday v Brentford line-ups: Vibe out, debut for Bees man, two changes for Owls

first_imgEmbed from Getty ImagesBrentford have handed a long-awaited debut to left-back Rico Henry in one of three changes for their trip to Sheffield Wednesday – but there is no Lasse Vibe.Henry signed for the Bees from Walsall back in August but had a shoulder injury that has kept him out since mid-August.The highly-rated 19-year-old replaces Tom Field, while his former Saddlers team-mate Romaine Sawyers is also back in the side, after four games on the substitutes’ bench.John Egan returns to the heart of the defence, with Andreas Bjelland making way.Vibe’s absence means the Bees start without a recognised striker, with Sawyers operating through the middle, flanked by Jota and Sergi Canos.Justin Shaibu, a 19-year-old striker who made his Bees debut in the League Cup defeat at Exeter in August, gets his second chance in a matchday squad.Sheffield Wednesday have made two changes to their line-up, both in the full-back positions.Liam Palmer replaces Jack Hunt at right-back, while Adam Reach drops into left-back and Ross Wallace comes into midfield.Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Palmer, Loovens, Sasso, Reach; Wallace, Hutchinson, Abdi, Bannan; Rhodes, Forestieri.Subs: Wildsmith, Pudil, Semedo, Jones, MacManaman, Winnall, Fletcher.Brentford: Bentley; Colin, Dean, Egan, Henry; McEachran, Yennaris, Woods; Jota, Sawyers, Canos.Subs: Bonham, Clarke, Bjelland, Field, Kerschbaumer, Jozefzoon, Shaibu.   Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch) x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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EPA Bans Paint Strippers Containing Methylene Chloride

first_imgMonths after a number of U.S. retailers began acting on their own, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule prohibiting the manufacture and sale of paint strippers containing a toxic chemical blamed for a number of deaths. In a press release, the EPA said it found risks to consumers using strippers with methylene chloride to be unreasonable. The agency said even short-term exposure to fumes from the chemical can quickly cause dizziness, loss of consciousness and death. “After analyzing the health impacts and listening to affected families, EPA is taking action to stop the use of this chemical in paint removers intended for consumers,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a prepared statement. “Today’s decision reflects EPA’s commitment to ensure that chemicals in the retail marketplace are safe for the American public.”RELATED ARTICLESEPA Sued Over Inaction on Paint StripperGetting Dangerous Paint Strippers Off the ShelvesBuyer Beware: Dangerous Paint Strippers Are Still Being SoldAmazon Will Ban Controversial Paint Strippers Public health advocates have been clamoring for months for definitive action from the EPA, two years after the agency first proposed removing methylene chloride from the market. The agency’s ruling means that paint removal products containing methylene chloride can’t be sold at any retail outlets, including internet sales. The ban goes into effect 180 days after the effective date of the final rule, which the EPA said would give retailers a chance to prepare. The agency said, however, that suppliers are likely to adopt the rule much sooner, and a number of retailers — including Lowe’s, Amazon, and The Home Depot — have already halted sales. Commercial use still allowed The long-awaited decision bars consumer sales, but E&E News reports that commercial use of strippers containing methylene chloride will be allowed. Senator Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat and the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, called that a mistake. “While a ban on consumer uses of paint strippers containing methylene chloride is a step in the right direction, it falls far short of what former Administrator Pruitt announced almost a year ago, and of what my office was assured in writing would be a ban that protected both consumer users and workers from this deadly chemical,” Carper said in a statement. The EPA hasn’t decided whether to impose new training rules on the commercial operators using the chemical and will take public comments on that possibility for the next 60 days, The Washington Post said. People who have lost loved ones in accidental deaths involving the toxic paint strippers were disappointed the EPA rule didn’t go any further. One of them, Wendy Hartley, lost her 21-year-old son Kevin two years ago when use used paint stripper to refinish a bathtub. He had been trained on how to apply the chemical. Hartley, who has joined a lawsuit against the EPA, said the new rule is a step in the right direction but would still leave commercial applicators unprotected and at risk. Brian Wynne, whose brother Drew died two years ago after using paint stripper to refinish a floor, joined Wheeler for the signing of the new rule in Washington, D.C., on March 15, The Post reported. “You take a win when you can get a win,” he said. “And in this climate, a win is almost impossible. It would be impossible for a person like my brother to procure it now.” The Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance, a trade group, said in a statement that methylene chloride has been used safely more more than 60 years and that the chemical has unmatched efficacy. “We are sorry to see EPA move forward with a ban on consumer sales of methylene chloride-based paint strippers,” it said. “We hope that alternative products offered to consumers, most of which are flammable, do not result in greater fire risk.” In 2017, the EPA proposed an outright ban on methylene chloride and another solvent called NMP, but did not until now follow through on methylene chloride. Officials haven’t said what they intend to do about NMP, The Post said. An organization called Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families has called on retailers to stop selling paint strippers containing NMP. In addition to paint strippers, the group said, NMP also can be found in some adhesives, cleaners, dyes, inks, and pesticides.last_img read more

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