mineral mining

The issue of metal mining in Maine and how it should be regulated has been debated numerous times in the Legislature, but never settled. Environmentalists and residents of Aroostook County converged on the State House Monday for another go.

Lawmakers are reviewing seven different bills. One contains provisional mining rules unanimously approved by the Board of Environmental Protection in January. It would allow mining operators to apply for a permit, and mining companies would have to provide proof that they have the financial means to pay for cleanup costs.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Legislators are set to consider once again whether to approve rules to jumpstart mining of Maine's deposits of copper, zinc, gold and silver.
 
Officials approved a law in 2012 calling for an overhaul of mining rules. But companies like J.D. Irving say they can't mine in Maine because lawmakers have twice failed to approve rules proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection.
 
Public hearings on several bills are scheduled for Monday.
 

Maine Public/file

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection has voted unanimously to adopt controversial new mining rules for the state.

The Legislature has twice rejected similar proposals, and will have the final word on these, as well. The rules are under fire from environmental groups, tribal members and others who say they are still not protective of public health or water quality and could leave taxpayers on the hook for hefty clean-up costs.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is once again asking Maine lawmakers to consider new rules to address mining regulations in the state.

The Legislature has twice rejected similar proposals since 2011, and both times the debate over them has been contentious.

In a memo explaining the proposed rules, the state says existing rules on the books are inconsistent with state statute. In addition, the DEP says it has addressed environmental, technical and legal concerns expressed in previous proceedings by lawmakers and other stakeholders.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A proposal to loosen mining regulations in Maine has suffered a setback in Augusta. The Maine House overwhelmingly rejected the measure, which first emerged three years ago, after a Canadian corporation expressed interest in developing mining operations on land it owns at Bald Mountain in Aroostook County.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Lawmakers have worked for weeks on an effort to overhaul the state's mining regulations. But it was mostly opponents that showed up at an unusual second public hearing on the same legislation.

A.J. Higgins / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - An ongoing debate about regulation of large-scale mining in Maine is now in its third year. After lawmakers rejected mining regulations advanced by the state Department of Environmental Protection last year, the agency opted to resubmit the same rules in February.

AUGUSTA, Maine _ More than a month after a bill seeking to adopt the state's expanded mineral mining rules drew significant public testimony, another is on the table this week, but this one seeks to put a halt to the process, essentially sending the Maine Department of Environmental Protection back to the drawing board.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A renewed effort to overhaul Maine's mining regulations is re-igniting a fierce debate in Augusta, where lawmakers are considering the Department of Environmental Protection's plan.

Mal Leary / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - Rules for large-scale mining in Maine that failed just last year are back again before the Legislature.

Alice Bolstridge from Presque Isle was among the dozens who drove hundreds of miles to testify on the rules, proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection.

"We need rules that are strong enough to protect the most environmentally risky sites, such as the proposed mining site at Bald Mountain," Bolstridge said.

Opponents say the owner of Bald Mountain, New Brunswick-based JD Irving Limited, is behind the proposed rules.

AUGUSTA, ME_ A public hearing on changes to the state's mineral mining rules is expected to draw significant comment this week- just like it did last year.