Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Issue: Environmental and Social Justice
Program Topic: The legislature’s public hearing on a bill that would open Maine to metallic mining
Key Discussion Points:
a) Today we hear some of the public testimony and reactions to the legislature’s hearing yesterday on LD 146, a bill that would open Maine to metallic mining. Testimony was almost entirely in opposition to the bill.
b) LD 146 contains Department of Environmental Protection(DEP) rules that were rejected by the 125th Legislature.Opponents say the rules are not protective ground and surface water or tax payers, who could end up paying for extensive cleanup or disaster costs. The metallic mining industry’s historic and current operations around the world are synonymous with water pollution that lasts for decades. The last mining site in Maine, the Callhan mine in Brooksville, continues to pollute 40 years after closure, with tax payers footing the bill.
c) Another point of contention with this bill is the legality of the process in re-introducing the DEP rules. The Maine Attorney General’s office confirms that under Maine’s Administrative Procedure Act (MAPA) these rules should go before a DEP public hearing prior to going before the legislature. The AG office has said the legislature can only preempt the act with a vote by the full legislature.
Alice Bolstridge, Presque Isle
Shelley Mountain, Portage Lake
Rep. Janice Cooper (D- Yarmouth), former member of Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment
Browne Carson, former director of Natural Resources Council of Maine
Current members of Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment: Chair, Sen.Tom Saviello (R-Franklin), Rep. Bob Duechene (D-Hudson), Rep. Denise Harlow (D-Portland), Rep John Martin (D-Eagle Lake)
Anthony Hourihan, Aroostook Resources, JD Irving subsidiary
Jim Mitchell, lobbyist for Aroostook Resources, JD Irving subsidiary
Nick Bennett, staff scientist, Natural Resources Council of Maine