AUGUSTA — Maine’s environmental department is taking public testimony on new regulations for mining being proposed in the state.

The department is expected to hear from environmental groups, Maine residents and others on Thursday.

Renewed interest in metallic mining of gold, silver, copper and other metals in Aroostook County’s Bald Mountain triggered legislation in 2012 that calls for the update of Maine’s mining regulations.

The Department of Environmental Protection released a draft of the proposed new rules in August.

Environmental groups say the proposed regulations don’t do enough to protect Maine residents or the environment from the toxic pollution that results from mining. They want stricter limits on groundwater contamination and requirements that mining companies pay for the full share of clean-up costs so the costs don’t get pushed onto taxpayers.

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