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Serious changes to Maine environmental laws proposed

At the end of January 2011, Governor LePage released a set of proposals that, if enacted, would have far-ranging effects on the Maine environment and the health of Mainers.

According to the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM):

The LePage proposal seeks to:

  • Gut laws that restrict the use of toxic chemicals such as mercury, lead, arsenic and toxic brominated flame retardants from being used in consumer products.
  • Roll back a law that reduces sulfur dioxide air pollution, which will prevent asthma attacks, reduce acid rain, and increase visibility in our parks.
  • Eliminate Maine’s Kid-Safe Products Act that identifies and phases out the “worst of the worst” toxic chemicals in everyday products that threaten children’s health. This success story has become a model for other states.
  • Eliminate Maine’s ban the use of toxic bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby bottles, water bottles, and sippy cups, a rule that was approved by a unanimous BEP vote last year.  BPA is an endocrine disrupting chemical that can reduce immunity, impair brain development and contribute to diseases like breast and prostate cancers later in life.
  • Mandate that at least three million acres of Maine’s irreplaceable North Woods be zoned for development.  If the Governor gets what he wants, it’s “hello” to developers, big box stores, casinos, sprawling subdivisions and shopping malls, and “goodbye” to the largest undeveloped forest remaining in the East.
  • Eliminate Maine’s product stewardship laws, including our e-waste recycling law that has saved taxpayers more than $9.6 million dollars and prevented more than 3.3 million pounds of lead and other toxic materials from entering the waste stream and our environment.
  • Abolish the Maine Board of Environmental Protection, the citizen panel that ensures public participation in the implementing of laws that protect Maine’s environment.
  • Weaken the strong science-based requirements for permits, which would destroy wildlife habitat, endanger threatened species and, in turn, diminish traditional Maine recreational activities that also bring revenue to our state, such as duck hunting and bird watching.
  • Eliminate basic fish passage requirements that protect Maine’s native brook trout when new culverts are installed over streams.

Among other actions, the NRCM is asking Maine residents to call their legislators today.

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1 comment to Serious changes to Maine environmental laws proposed

  • Laura Creagan

    For York Residents – it was to call to voice opposition against LePage’s proposals – it took me 15 mins. to contact all of the below:

    Find 10 mins. in your day and voice your opinion.
    Here are the numbers/emails:

    Dawn Hill (D-York)
    District 1
    Cape Neddick, ME 03907
    (207) 337-3689
    SenDawn.Hill@legislature.maine.gov

    Windol C. Weaver (R-York)
    District 150
    4 Weavers Way
    York, ME 03909
    (207) 363-4641
    RepWindol.Weaver@legislature.maine.gov

    I also called Susan Collin’s York Office in Biddeford, Maine. I emailed Olympia Snowe.

    I emailed Paul LePage – his email is: Governor@maine.gov.

    Laura