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Bill Seeks to Apply the Brakes to Mining Push

AUGUSTA, Maine _ More than a month after a bill seeking to adopt the state's expanded mineral mining rules drew significant public testimony, another is on the table this week, but this one seeks to put a halt to the process, essentially sending the Maine Department of Environmental Protection back to the drawing board.

"In the meantime it says there should be no mining in Maine until those better rules are developed and accepted by the legislature." explains Nick Bennett  with the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Bennett welcomes the moratorium proposed in LD 750, sponsored by Democrat Ralph Chapman of Brooksville.

The DEP would have until January of 2017 to develop different mining rules.
But proponents of the currently expanded mining rules say that Aroostook County sorely needs new industry and that large scale mining opportunity could be a financial boon to the area.

Public testimony on LD 750 will be heard Monday by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.