The mining industry has a terrible record of polluting the environment and leaving taxpayers with the clean-up costs. In Montana, for example, the federal government has spent over $10 million in taxpayer dollars cleaning up the Beal Mountain Mine – and they estimate that additional costs will be between $25 and $200 million. Mining companies also consistently promise jobs they fail to deliver to local communities. Maine’s clean water is our most valuable asset – if we are going to operate new sulfide mines in Maine, we have to ensure that mining companies protect our water quality and wildlife. You can help make this happen today!
The Majority Report:
Increases Protection for Maine Taxpayers
- Requires independent third-party verification of mine clean-up costs.
- Requires mining companies to put all of the cleanup money in secure financial instruments upfront so that taxpayers don’t get stuck with the bill later.
Increases Protection of Water Quality
- Requires that mines be designed not to use water treatment for more than 10 years after closure. This means mining companies can’t get away with saying they will protect the environment by treating contaminated water forever. No company lasts forever, and the public will likely foot the bill for mines requiring long-term water treatment.
- Requires that mining companies minimize their pollution of groundwater and keep it within 100 feet of mining activities, with very limited exceptions. Last year’s law did not contain specific language on how far groundwater contamination could travel, potentially allowing it to spread over very large areas.
- Requires applicants for a mining permit to analyze best practices in model mines in the U.S. and describe how those techniques will be applied here in Maine.
Increases Information about Jobs for Maine People
- Requires a mining applicant to provide detailed information about the number and duration of jobs it will create, and an estimate of how many of these jobs will go to Maine people.
Thank you for your support!
Jennifer Burns Gray
Staff Attorney and Advocate
(207) 781-6180 ext. 224