Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Engineer/Reporter: John Greenman
The Maine legislature’s committee on Environment & Natural Resources held a public hearing today in the latest round of the controversial re-write of Maine’s mining regulations. As we’ve reported previously, the original legislation was introduced on behalf of the Irving Corporation, and consisted of an industry wish list of changes to existing protections. Irving wants to changes that would allow them to mine Bald Mountain in Aroostook County—a prospect that has been rejected by other companies in previous decades as being environmentally and economically unfeasible- but these new mining rules would open up mining at locations across the state. Following a convoluted path through the legislature, the same proposed rules that were rejected last year are being re-introduced. This has resulted in allegations of administrative misconduct in addition to public outcry against loosening environmental protections.
Today on the WERU News Report we’ll be talking with Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine about that group’s legislative priorities for this session, including the mining regs re-write, and we’ll be taking your calls with questions or comments. But first we start with some of the testimony from today’s public hearing