Archives for Maine mining regulations

RadioActive 4/6/17

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Program Topic: President Trump’s Executive Order on Climate and Energy and Environmentalist Split on Metallic Mining in Maine

1) Today, we look at a split between grassroots environmentalists and non-profit environmental groups over legislation that could open Maine to devastating metallic mining ground water pollution.
2). Seven bills are currently before the Maine legislature’s Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources. LD 160 would ban mining outright. LD 253 would repeal a 2012 rule change which negated more protective standards that had been put in place in 1991. Today we look at LD 820, which a number of non-profits have supported, while others in the environmental community reveal would allow substantial and irreversible onsite groundwater pollution by mining companies. The bill sponsor now seeks amendments to the bill for further protection, but it is now in the hands of the Committeee.
3) We also look at President Trump’s sweeping executive order on climate and energy, with Janet Redman, the US policy director from Oil Change International.

Janet Redman, US policy director for Oil Change International and Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.
Lew Kingsbury, activist with Alliance for a Common Good and freelance journalist for The Cryer Find his article “ Twice Defeated Metallic Mining Rules Faces Third Vote in Legislature”“ in the April edition.

This program was produced in partnership with the Sunlight Media Collective.

RadioActive 4/30/15

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic:Maine’s legislature works to relax mining standards

Key Discussion Points:
a) Today we speak with two citizen activists on current legislative proceedings aimed at relaxing state environmental standards to allow metallic mining in Maine.
b) This week the Maine legislature’s joint committee on Environment and Natural Resources has been in work sessions, reconfiguring a new bill based closely on rule changes proposed by JD Irving, the company seeking to mine Bald Mountain in Aroostook County. In this session, the ENR Committee has reviewed mining bills LD 146 and LD 750. The current bill retains the number LD 750, but no longer contains the stringent environmental and financial stipulations of it’s original sponsor, Rep. Ralph Chapman.
c) A public hearing on the new LD 750 will be held on May 11th, 9:00 am at the Augusta State House Cross Building, Room 216.

Lew Kingsbury, environmental activist
Dennis Chinoy, activist, volunteer Power In Community Alliances (PICA)

RadioActive 2/26/15

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

RadioActive 1/9/14

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: Mining Bill at BEP; Divestment from Fossil Fuels

Key Discussion Points:
a) Today we discuss the ongoing moves to change Maine’s mining laws,which open the state up to metallic mining, without regard for environmental consequences or adequate industry clean up responsibilities.
b)Tomorrow the state Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) is expected to approve a new set of rules, which would send it on the legislature.

We also look at the movement to divest colleges and universities from the fossil fuel industry, and a bill in the state legislature which would similarly divest Maine Public Employees Retirement System.


A) Beth Ahern, Maine Conservation Alliance; Maine Mining Watch

B)Sarah Linnekan, climate activist with 350 Maine