I am writing in opposition to the Wolfden application to rezone a portion of northern Penobscot County for metal mining.

Historically, metal mining is a sad story of severe environmental degradation, including the poisoning of lakes, ponds, streams and rivers, the destruction of critical fish, waterfowl and wading bird habitats, the pollution of deep aquifers and surface water recharge sites and lasting harm to human beings. Metal mine tailings and the handling and disposal of mining wastewater pose immediate and continuing long-lasting environmental threats.

Allowing this mining proposal to move forward will have catastrophic effects on the local environment, polluting our water and threatening Maine’s inland fisheries. The proposed location is near a vital habitat for brook trout and endangered Atlantic salmon that could be permanently altered and destroyed by pollution from the mine.

Mine wastewater, pumped into the ground, will contaminate entire aquifers and wastewater impounded above ground will be an environmental accident waiting to happen. The resulting mining pollution threatens not only Maine’s flora and fauna but the health of human beings living and working within the adjacent watershed and downstream in the Penobscot River drainage. Furthermore, Wolfden’s claim that it can treat the wastewater to make it safe is not supportable.

I urge all Mainers and the Land Use Planning Commission to join me in opposing this dangerous mining proposal.

John Loyd

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