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Maine Senate Oks strict regulations for mining

May 9, 2017 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A bill to create strict regulations for mining Maine’s deposits of gold and other minerals is set to head to the House after receiving strong Senate support.

The Senate voted 34-0 to pass Democratic Sen. Brownie Carson’s bill on Tuesday.

The National Resources Council of Maine and state environmental regulators worked together on the bill.

The bill would require companies to prove they could cover a disaster’s cost and ban mining on or under public lands, lakes and wetlands.

Metallic mineral mining is technically legal in Maine, but the bill’s backers say the existing mish-mash of rules poses legal and environmental risks.

The Maine Association of Wetland Scientists this year said the bill could result in an outright prohibition on mining because wetlands are threaded through Maine’s landscape.