AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s environmental department is hearing from the public on a proposal to weaken some air-quality restrictions in Maine.
The Department of Environmental Protection held a public hearing Tuesday. It’s seeking federal approval to allow new or newly upgraded industrial polluters to be exempt from federal Clean Air Act measures designed to reduce ground-level ozone.
Environmental groups like the Natural Resources Council of Maine say the proposal is short-sighted and will cause health problems for Maine residents.
But officials from the state’s paper mills say the regulations are unnecessary and that removing them will help businesses.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage says similar exemptions were sought by former Democratic Gov. John Baldacci and Independent Gov. Angus King.
Members of the public can submit comments to the department until Sept. 20.