The Rumford Water District board of trustees encourages all residents of Rumford to vote at the Tuesday, June 13, town meeting in support of “Chapter 55 Ordinance Governing the Large Scale Extraction of Ground Water by Aquifer-Dependent Industries from Aquifers within the Town of Rumford, Maine.” That ordinance gives the town of Rumford enhanced powers to manage large scale extraction of groundwater and to protect groundwater rights, providing further environmental protections for Rumford’s groundwater resources.

Groundwater extraction by companies such as Poland Spring is regulated by the Maine Public Utilities Commission, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the Maine Drinking Water Program. In Rumford, if a contract is reached, the Rumford Water District will also have serious controls over Poland Spring, including curtailment or termination of groundwater extraction. The Groundwater Extraction Ordinance proposed by the district, if approved by the voters of Rumford, would give the Rumford Selectboard the final say in whether Poland Spring could extract groundwater in Rumford, and only after Poland Spring first obtains approvals and permits from the above listed state agencies.

The Groundwater Extraction Ordinance comprehensively protects Rumford’s groundwater resources, has rigorous permitting and monitoring requirements (monitoring that is also done by the Rumford Water District and the state agencies), and allows for the town of Rumford to curtail or terminate groundwater extraction if there is any threat to the resource.

A “yes” vote for the Chapter 55 Groundwater Extraction Ordinance on June 13 protects Rumford’s groundwater and helps bring economic opportunity to Rumford.

James Thibodeau, Jolene Lovejoy, Harrison Burns

Rumford Water District board of trustees

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