AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Maine’s Democratic-led House has voted to direct the Department of Environmental Protect to re-submit new mining regulations.
The House voted 98-39 on Monday in favor of rejecting the regulations drafted by the department and asking it to come up with new rules and submit them to the Legislature by February 2016.
Critics of the rules, crafted in light of renewed interest in mining of metals in Aroostook County’s Bald Mountain, say they don’t go far enough to protect Maine water sources or taxpayers, who they say could be left picking up the tab for mining.
Supporters of the new rules say the state’s current regulations stymie mining altogether and that mining will bring much-needed jobs to northern Maine.
The bill faces further House and Senate votes.