Lawmakers hear testimony on mining bills

5:55 PM, Apr 29, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Lawmakers on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee heard from people both for and against open pit mining in Maine on Monday. Last year lawmakers passed a law allowing the State Department of Environmental Protection to update decades old rules to regulate open pit mining. That process is ongoing, but some lawmakers concerned with the rule making process submitted bills to address some of their concerns. The legislation would require companies take steps to prevent the spread of groundwater contamination and establish a trust fund that the state would have authority to access if needed. Some people testified against mining, for concerns of the damage it would do the lakes and rivers around Bald Mountain in Central Aroostook County where J.D. Irving wants to mine metals such as gold, silver, and copper. Others told lawmakers that the jobs are needed in that region, and the legislature should let state regulators adopt rules before passing new laws.


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