To the Editor:

The lithium discovery on Plumbago mountain has been the focus of legislative sessions this month. LD1363 would loosen mining regulations.

The mine straddles the Bear/Ellis River valleys. Extraction may threaten the huge aquifer that serves the residents of all the towns from Andover to Peru. Poland Spring currently pumps this water because of its quality.

The land owners already have every right to mine under the current regulations. They are arguing for further relaxation of regulation for personal profit. They want extraction to fall under open quarry regulations–open pit mining. These valleys have always been areas of beauty tapped for four season recreation. People come here to enjoy Grafton Notch State Park, Rumford White Cap, and the Ellis RIver. The region hosts hunting & fishing, backcountry & cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ATV riding, cycling, canoeing & kayaking, leaf peeping, and mountaintop blueberry picking. An open quarry would diminish the beauty, and the noise and traffic from blasting, mining, and heavy vehicles would spoil the natural experience.

While lithium can play a role reducing greenhouse emissions, this deposit’s quality means it will not be used in EV batteries.

Write to the Maine Environment and Natural Resources Committee this week, before the window for testimony closes. Ask them not to loosen mining regulations. Amending this rule will affect mining state-wide. Write the co-chairs of the committee, and ask them to forward your letter to other members.

Brie Weisman


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