News & Notes

Action Alert: Push Back Against Mining Pollution in Maine

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
Posted on:

We need your help to defend against mining pollution and the threat it poses to clean water in Maine.

Weak mining rules were defeated in 2014 and 2015 that would have allowed dangerous mines near some of Maine’s most treasured places. Unfortunately, in January, the Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) again passed weak rules to facilitate open-pit mines throughout Maine. Now these Rules are back at the Legislature (LD 395) and we must defeat them.

Luckily, a bill has been proposed — LD 820 — that amends the 2012 mining law to require strong protections and a rewrite of the weak rules.

What You Can Do

Attend the March 20 Hearing
Please come to this hearing in front of the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee and help us push back against mining pollution in Maine:

What: ENR Committee hearing on mining pollution
When: Monday, March 20, at 9:00am (likely to run all day)
Where: Room 216 of the Cross Office Building
Note: Let us know if you are coming and need our staff to sign you up to speak. All those speaking will be held to a 3-minute time limit.

Please urge ENR Committee members to defeat LD 395 and support LD 820
Let them know you want strong protections against mining pollution in Maine!

Maine needs strong, clear mining laws and rules to protect our water, woods, and wildlife. We can’t allow mining companies to pollute our waterways or to leave taxpayers with the bill for cleaning up polluted sites.

If you can’t attend the hearing, please take a moment and either send your written testimony to the Committee Clerk, Steven Langlin ([email protected]) which will be distributed to Committee members OR contact ENR Committee members directly and urge them to oppose LD 395 and support LD 820.

  • Senator Tom Saviello, chair (Wilton)
    [email protected]
    (207) 645-3420
  • Senator Amy Volk (Scarborough)
    [email protected]
    (207) 229-5091
  • Senator Geoff Gratwick (Bangor)
    [email protected]
    (207) 947-0637
  • Representative Ralph Tucker, chair (Brunswick)
    [email protected]
    (207) 725-7639
  • Representative Dick Campbell (Orrington)
    [email protected]
    (207) 287-1440
  • Representative Bob Duchesne (Hudson)
    [email protected]
    (207) 745-7748
  • Representative Jessica Fay (Raymond)
    [email protected]
    (207) 415-4218
  • Representative Denise Harlow (Portland)
    [email protected]
    (207) 409-0870
  • Representative Jonathan Kinney (Limington)
    [email protected]
    (207) 637-2366
  • Representative John Martin (Eagle Lake)
    [email protected]
    (207) 444-5556
  • Representative Jeff Pierce (Dresden)
    [email protected]
    (207) 441-3006
  • Representative Scott Strom (Pittsfield)
    [email protected]
    (207) 313-3895
  • Representative Stanley Zeigler (Montville)
    [email protected]
    (207) 323-6044

The weak rules passed by the BEP in January are destructive for many reasons, including because they:

  • Allow mining on and under Maine’s spectacular Public Reserved Lands.
  • Allow tailings impoundments, the most dangerous type of mine waste disposal facility.
  • Leave Maine taxpayers on the hook for mining disasters, which happen far too often.
  • Allow even the most hazardous parts of mines — such as wasterock piles and tailings ponds — in floodplains and flood hazard areas.
  • Allow open-pit mines.

In the past, legislators defeated the bad mining rules because they from heard from you loud and clear that the proposed rules did not protect Maine’s clean water and taxpayers.

Please speak up again in support of strong protections against mining pollution in Maine by attending the public hearing or by contacting the ENR Committee and urging them to reject the weak mining rules in LD 395 and to support LD 820 to bring strong protection against mining in Maine.

Thank you for helping us push back against mining pollution and protect clean water in Maine!

To sign up for Maine Audubon’s Action Alert e-mails, please click here.