WERU News Report 5/27/15

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Engineer: John Greenman

Mining in Maine, what could possibly go wrong? Ask the residents of Blue Hill peninsula and they’ll tell you about the toxic legacy of the Callahan and Black Hawk/KerrAmerican mines. The representatives of the mining companies — who stand to make millions– say new technologies will prevent future disasters– but what are the guarantees? And is it worth the risk?

Today we talk with Mainers who have been working to prevent more mining disasters as the state legislature considers weakening existing mining regulations, and we open the phone lines for your calls.

Sidney Mitchell is a founding member of Friends Of The Piscataquis Valley, a group that formed in January of 2012. She says that as an active concerned citizen who opposes the Cianbro East-West Corridor, she became acutely aware of the threat posed by weaker mining regulations particularly after reading the OpEd in the BDN by Peter Vigue of Cianbro called ‘Embrace Change’ that promoted the Irving Gold Mine project in Aroostook. This lead her to begin connecting the dots between the East-West Corridor and other related corporate interests, including mining. Since that time she has twice traveled to El Salvador to learn how they are dealing with the mining issue there. And back here in Maine she has been following the issue closely, attending public hearings, submitting testimony and writing letters to the editor warning of the dangers of metallic mining.
Hendrik Gideonse lives in Brooklin, Maine not far from the legacy of at least 2 environmental disasters caused by mining. He’s a former selectman, retired educator and policy analyst and has been following the mining regulations rewrite since it started back in 2012. Like Sidney Mitchell, Hendrik Gideonse has devoted himself to attending public hearings & work sessions, offering testimony and writing letters to the editor and opeds, including one published 3 days ago in the BDN.