Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Issue: Environmental and Social Justice
Program Topic: Changes to Maine’s Mining Regulations Pushed
Key Discussion Points:
a) Today we talk with Rep. Ralph Chapman about fast moving and legally controversial changes to the state’s mining regulations and the power of industry in state government.
b) Mining rule changes, crafted by JD Irving to expedite mining at Bald Mountain in Aroostook County, were rejected by the 126th legislature on the grounds that it did not protect the environment or the public from inevitably costly clean up. These same rules, however, have been re-introduced this session, as LD 146, hopscotching over the requirement under the Maine’s Administrative Procedures Act (MAPA) that Department of Environmental Protection’s proposed rule changes must go before a public hearing before proceeding to the legislature. The Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, however, has scheduled a public hearing for Feb 25th at 9am. It is expected proponents will try to push the bill through as quickly as possible and onto the Governor’s desk for signing.
c) We also look towards the annual Changing Maine Gathering this weekend in Augusta. This years theme : ” We DO Have the Power: Local Organizing Against Corporate/Industrial Projects”
Rep. Ralph Chapman, District 133 (Blue Hill, Brooksville, Brooklin, Sedgwick, Castine, Surry)
Sass Linneken, Resources Organizing for Social Change (ROSC), outreach coordinator