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State recommends denying rezoning proposal in Penobscot County for mining project

Pickett Mountain and Pickett Mountain Pond.
Maine Land Use Planning Commission via BDN
Pickett Mountain and Pickett Mountain Pond.

The Land Use Planning Commission staff today issued a recommendation to deny the re-zoning for a metallic mineral mine in Penobscot County.

Ahead of the commission's Feb. 14 meeting to vote on the zoning proposal, staff issued a recommendation to deny the request.

Ontario-based Wolfden Resources requested the commission rezone nearly 400 acres in the Katahdin region, to allow the company to move forward with building a mine.

The company presented its case over several days of hearings in Millinocket, and commissioners debated the application at a December meeting.

The staff recommendation states that the project would not be in line with the commission's charge to support strong environmental protections.

In a statement, Wolfden CEO Ron Little expressed disappointment and says that the recommendation "departs from that thorough review and weighing of the evidence."

Wolfden has also requested that the commission postpone further action until the Oxford and Franklin County representatives are confirmed to the commission and can participate.

Kaitlyn Budion is Maine Public’s Bangor correspondent, joining the reporting team after several years working in print journalism.