MILLINOCKET, Maine — Metallic mineral mines can seep poisonous supplies from any variety of pure sources, in keeping with knowledgeable testimony through the second day of Maine Land Use Planning Fee public hearings relating to the Pickett Mountain Mission.
Canadian junior mining firm, Wolfden, is searching for LUPC rezoning approval for a 374-acre parcel within the unorganized territory 3.3 miles off Route 11, close to Mt. Chase and Moro Plantation. With out the LUPC’s approval, Wolfden can not apply for a metallic mineral mining allow below Maine’s new strict mining legislation.
The three days of public hearings, together with knowledgeable testimony and public remark, will conclude on Wednesday morning at Stearns Jr./Sr. Excessive College in Millinocket. An extra public remark interval is slated for six:30 p.m. Oct. 23 on the Cross Insurance coverage Heart, 515 Important St., Bangor.
The general public hearings are a part of the fee’s course of to find out whether or not to approve Wolfden’s rezoning software. The listening to is reside streamed on YouTube.
Rock formation seepage, fluctuating groundwater ranges, climate, leaking mine liners can all result in pollution from the mine seeping into the groundwater, in keeping with specialists who spoke about these potential pollution as they associated to the proposed Pickett Mountain metallic mineral mine.
Throughout a portion of Monday’s listening to, Wolfden’s Vice President Jeremy Ouellette talked about Wolfden’s potential plans for poisonous mitigation with double lined partitions and reverse osmosis to wash soiled water.
Nonetheless, on Tuesday, a number of specialists stated that whereas reverse osmosis is an efficient instrument for cleansing water, Wolfden didn’t current an instance of a comparable mine that has used this technique efficiently.
Montana scientist Stu Levit stated that in his 25 years within the business together with working with Superfund websites polluted by mining, he isn’t conscious of such a mine and that it won’t be doable or it is likely to be economically impractical. It’s simple for a corporation to vow to do one thing and one other to really design and plan on one thing to ship it, he stated.
“The proposed ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis are literally good applied sciences, however they are often very costly to function,” Levit stated. “In my view, the (Wolfden) mineral knowledge just isn’t enough at the moment to estimate the precise prices.”
A normal theme throughout each days of testimony was that the Wolfden software knowledge – scientific, monetary and financial – was based mostly on fashions and potential knowledge, making it troublesome to find out actuality.
On Tuesday morning, LUPC listening to officer Everett Worster stated that almost all of what the fee has heard was based mostly on predictive fashions.
“My confidence degree in these predictions just isn’t actual excessive,” he stated.
On Tuesday, Intervenor No. 2 – the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, the Penobscot Nation, the Pure Assets Council of Maine, represented by the Conservation Regulation Basis, Earthjustice and Brann & Isaacson, testified relating to their opposition to the rezoning software due to the potential harm to Wabanki lands and waters and the area’s pure sources.
Colorado geochemist Ann Maest, vice chairman of Buka Environmental, stated that almost all of hardrock mines she evaluated missed water high quality predictions the vast majority of the time and 64 % failed with mitigation efforts.
“Mining will trigger air pollution,” she stated.
Out of 19 audio system on Tuesday night, 11 urged the LUPC to disclaim Wolfden’s rezoning request citing degradation of pure sources, not sufficient proof that Wolfden has the flexibility to function the mine safely, sufficient jobs in the neighborhood with many companies already unable to get the assistance they want, and tourism rising because the area’s new financial system.
Molly Hanson, of Millinocket, stated she could be very involved in regards to the mine and feels there are a whole lot of “ifs”: in the event that they comply with the principles, in the event that they keep secure.
“I don’t assume there’s sufficient proof to show that Wolfden can truly do what they are saying they’ll do. They don’t have a observe document,” she stated. “They’re speaking a very good discuss however I don’t assume the Penobscot space is the place this ought to be examined.”
Amongst causes given by these in favor of rezoning the land for the Wolfden mine, jobs topped the checklist.
Shin Pond Village co-owner Terry Hill stated that folks from away can come to Maine and speak about wanting a pristine space, however they don’t seem to be elevating their households right here, not paying payments, and that is actually vital to those that plan to remain right here.
“This mission, in my entire household’s opinion, matches our area. We have to have business together with tourism,” she stated. “We assist this mission.”
Nonetheless, Millinocket resident Len Warren, who retired from The Nature Conservancy, stated zinc mining is an inherently damaging business.
“I’ve by no means seen good examples of a mine that might produce clear water outcomes,” he stated.