Email Your Representatives before 12:30pm Wednesday 3/27 + Submit Comment In Person/Online: Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Poised to Weaken Maine's Mining Law at the Expense of Human Health Protections

ENR Committee Poised to Weaken Mining Law Demand a Public Hearing!

On Wednesday, March 27th, the Maine legislature’s Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) will reconvene, continuing Monday’s discussion of a new “Zombie Bill” version of LD1471, a bill that was tabled last year. This bill takes a dangerous U-turn on environmental protections for metallic mining in Maine. This new version of LD1471 replaces language about strengthening environmental and human health mining protections with language that instead weakens Maine’s mining law and creates a loophole that specifically exempts open-pit lithium mining from environmental protections in the law.

Writing a “Zombie Bill” is sneaky, undemocratic politics. The Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) missed the deadline for this legislative session to have the legislature review these new rules regarding open-pit lithium mining.  Instead of going through a transparent, democratic process of review in the next legislative session, the Mills administration, pushed by the mining industry and in cooperation with the ENR committee, is bringing this zombie bill forward in an attempt to rush it through with no mechanism for the public to submit comments. 

We deserve the right to a public hearing and to submit testimony on this legislation, but this undemocratic process takes away our right to do so.  We deserve the right to a public hearing and to submit testimony on this legislation, but this undemocratic process takes away our right to do so. There is no online portal available to submit testimony, so please submit comment by email or in person.


(comment by Monday morning & attend on Monday online / in-person)

Please take action against this undemocratic move to weaken Maine's mining law by writing to your legislators and ENR committee members before the work by 12:30pm on Wednesday 3/27. Submit comment in advance and attend online/in-person at 1:00pm in Cross Building, Room 216.

  1. In advance of the March 27th 1pm LD1471 work session, submit comment to the Legislature’s ENR (Environment and Natural Resources) Committee and if applicable, request a Zoom invite for online attendance.

    “If you would like to provide comment on these matters in person, please bring 20 copies of any written materials to the meeting tomorrow for distribution.  If you would like to provide comment remotely, you can request a Zoom attendance link and submit any written materials by emailing the ENR Committee Clerk, Marianne MacMaster ([email protected]).  If you just want to submit written materials and do not want to provide in person or remote comment, you can email those materials to Marianne as well. “

    In addition to writing the clerk at [email protected] we also recommend copying your comment to the ENR committee members directly for redundancy:
    [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

  2. ADDITIONALLY send your comment to your personal State Representatives and Senator:   Find their contact info here


  3. Attend and submit comment in person or online. The LD1471 work session is happening on Wednesday, March 27th at 1pm in the Cross Building, Room 216 at the Augusta Statehouse. A link for attending and commenting online can be requested by emailing [email protected]

Write your own comments or use the script below:

“Dear Representative [NAME], OR Dear Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Environmental and Natural Resources,

I am writing to express the demand for a Public Hearing for any rule changes to the Metallic Mineral Mining Act.

As a concerned citizen I want to express my strong opposition to the proposed amendment to LD 1471.  This amendment completely undermines the original purpose of LD 1471, which is to provide human health and safety protections to Maine mining operations.  The amendment seeks to weaken Maine’s existing Chapter 200 mining regulations and provides an exemption for open-pit lithium mining. The decision to fast-track the Chapter 200 resolve with an emergency clause while simultaneously removing from consideration the original purpose of LD 1471 is a dangerous threat to Maine’s human safety, environment, and natural resources. 

I urge you to vote “NO” and reject the proposed amendment to LD 1471.  It is imperative to preserve the original language of LD 1471. I urge you to consider the original text and intention of LD 1471, as proposed by Senator Bennett, which strengthens environmental and public health protections for mining in Maine. 

Additionally, the Board of Environmental Protection missed the submission deadline to allow a proper public hearing on the matter of changing Chapter 200’s regulations.  Lack of a public hearing and comment period regarding a decision with such significant impact to Maine’s residents and environment is an affront to our democratic process and weakens our confidence that the state is exercising due diligence in this consequential matter.  I urge you to seek public comment and schedule a public hearing, with adequate advance notice, for any and all alterations to Maine’s Chapter 200 mining regulations. 



Think Maine has the toughest mining laws around? Think again!

The much touted Chapter 200 rules actually state “contamination of groundwater from activities permitted under this Chapter may occur within a mining area” It also explicitly exempts acidity and metal pollution—including arsenic, mercury, and lead from regulation. Wisconsin’s Act 171 the “Prove It First Law” was a much more stringent regulation than Maine’s Chapter 200 rule.