Statement of Nick Bennett, Staff Scientist, Natural Resources Council of Maine
“NRCM is grateful that the Legislature has overridden the governor’s veto of LD 820. Today, the Maine Senate voted unanimously to override the veto, and the House voted 122-21. Members of both parties worked equally hard on the bill during countless hours of work sessions in the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and came up with an excellent bill that provides the strongest set of protections from mining pollution in the country.
“After five years of battles over mining, the Legislature overwhelmingly supported LD 820, a strong bipartisan bill that will protect our clean water and taxpayers into the future. The bill bans large-scale open-pit mining and bans mining on all public lands; under Maine lakes, outstanding rivers, high-value freshwater wetlands, and coastal wetlands; and requires any mining company to pay enough money up front to cover a worst-case mining disaster.
“The bill sets a new standard that could serve as a model for any state interested in protecting their citizens and environment from mining pollution.
“We are delighted that both Republicans and Democrats voted with such overwhelming margins to ensure that this protective bill will become law despite the governor’s objections.”