Metal Mining in Maine?

June 12, 2015

 

The prospects of large-scale metal mining in Maine have dimmed. House lawmakers in the state have voted to oppose a bill that would allow large-scale metal mining.

 

Many lawmakers say they did not believe there are not enough safeguards in place to protect water and natural resources in the state.

 

The debate had been brewing among Maine lawmakers since a manufacturing company announced a few years ago that it was looking to develop an open-pit mining operation. This mining operation was going to harvest substantial deposits of copper and zinc from a 500-acre site. There are also several attractive mining prospects in several counties in the state.

 

Supporters of the bill say mining operations and techniques have changed over the years. Certainly the equipment is very good and is very reliable. Supporters also say new mines could have provided jobs for thousands of people. They say this would have brought economic benefits to the state.

 

As for the concerns about water and natural resources, supporters say the measures provided sensible and environmentally sound regulations that would encourage responsible mining activities.

 

State lawmakers rejected similar legislation containing mining rules from Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection last year. At the time, lawmakers said the regulations failed to protect the state’s lakes, rivers, streams and taxpayers.