Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Issue: Environmental and Social Justice
Program Topic: Metallic Mining in Maine and El Salvador
Key Discussion Points:
a) Last legislative session, an effort spearheaded by Irving resulted in legislation directing Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection to over haul state mining laws to make it easier for the exploitation of gold, copper, silver and zinc. Though the impetus is a project at Bald Mountain in Arookstook County, the changes will open up mining at number of locations across the state with metallic metals.
b) The country of El Salvador, based on past experiences within their own borders and the experiences of communities in neighboring countries in Central America, has kept a resurgence of gold mining at bay, through government action, pushed by an unparallelled social movement. Around the globe the effects of mining include water over use, severe water pollution and it’s ensuing health impacts, and the human rights abuses and violence perpetrated against anti-mining activists by myriad factions in support of mining companies.
c) US El Salvador Sister Cities, and it’s local affiliate Power in Community Alliances (PICA), is hosting a speaking tour by Salvadoran anti mining activists. They will present along with Natural Resources Council of Maine staff scientist Nick Bennett, on the parallels between Maine and Salvadoran mining prospects and resistance.
Jan Morrill, Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), past US El Salvador Sister Cities staff, and organizer with El Salvador’s National Table on Metallic Mining. She is originally from Maine.