NRCM news release
Augusta, ME (September 15, 2020) — The virtually unknown company seeking to operate a mine in the shadow of Katahdin has asked the Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) to carry out only a narrow review of its rezoning proposal, a move the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) called an egregious attempt to bypass rezoning rules that protect the health of Maine’s people and natural environment.
On August 26, 2020, Wolfden Resources (Wolfden) requested that the LUPC narrow the scope of its review for the company’s proposed Picket Mountain Mine near Mount Chase. LUPC Commissioners are due to discuss Wolfden’s request at their meeting on September 16, 2020.
In a September 14, 2020, letter to the LUPC, NRCM Staff Scientist Nick Bennett urged Commissioners to reject Wolfden’s request and said that Wolfden must answer LUPC staff questions about the viability of the proposed mine in a timely manner, something Wolfden has refused to do. Earlier this year, NRCM detailed serious problems with Wolfden’s rezoning petition that indicate the company is incapable of operating a mine without harming Maine’s environment and burdening its taxpayers.
In January 2020, Wolfden submitted a rezoning petition to the LUPC for a metal (primarily zinc, lead, and copper) mine at Pickett Mountain on 528 acres near Mount Chase, not far from Baxter State Park and the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument.
Wolfden has failed to prove it can treat polluted wastewater adequately, has proposed disposing of mine waste in violation of Maine’s mining law, and has not documented sufficient financial capacity to operate a mine of this type. LUPC staff have repeatedly asked Wolfden to clarify its application to address these questions but the company continues to refuse to provide honest and timely responses
“This latest gambit from Wolfden’s lawyer shows that the company is trying to make these critical questions disappear by requesting that LUPC narrow its scope. This is clearly unacceptable, and the request should be denied,” said NRCM Staff Scientist Nick Bennett.
Learn more about Wolfden’s proposed mine: https://www.nrcm.org/blog/new-mining-threat-near-baxter-national-monument/