December 14, 2012

Council: Mining rules contractor 'misrepresented' credentials

The Natural Resources Council also says the Michigan company has long-standing links to mining operations and shouldn't be updating Maine’s mining rules.

By North Cairn
Staff Writer

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Bald Mountain, with Greenlaw Pond in the foreground, is the site of mineral deposits that Irving, which owns the property, would like to mine. The Natural Resources Council of Maine on Thursday renewed its attack on the Department of Environmental Protection’s selection of an out-of-state contractor to help modernize Maine’s mining rules, alleging that both the contractor and the DEP had “misrepresented” the company’s credentials, experience and ties to the mining industry.

Courtesy photo

No company has applied for a mining permit in Maine since the state adopted its current mining rules in 1991. J.D. Irving, the Bald Mountain landowner, has said it could support 700 jobs with a mine on its Aroostook County property.

Didisheim said the Maine rules should be rewritten by DEP technical and professional staff, with support from other state agencies who have expertise in geology, wildlife and other relevant fields.

The use of North Jackson would give "too much influence to mining interests and not enough opportunity for Maine people to participate in drafting rules that could result in widespread water pollution and massive financial cleanup costs for the state if the public's interests are not protected," Didisheim said.

DePoy-Warren, the DEP spokeswoman, said the agency "has every confidence in our process," and a record of involving the public and doing its work openly.

A public meeting on developing the mining rules will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the DEP Response Training Room, 4 Blossom Lane, Augusta. "And we welcome voices at the table who will be constructive ... constructive and not obstructive," DePoy-Warren said.

Staff Writer North Cairn can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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