Public hearing concerning rezoning land for mining takes place in Bangor
BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A public hearing to rezone an area near Patten for mining purposes took place in Bangor Monday night.
“We have inhabited this region for over twelve-thousand years according to archeologists. We have a deep connection to our mother and when I say our mother, I’m talking about your mother as well.” said Dwayne Tomah of The Passamaquoddy Tribe.
“While some continuously endeavor to put all of the eggs of our economic hope in the singular basket of tourism, our businesses suffer, the tax burden on the individual citizens increases, and our largest export remains our young people.” said Rep. Chad Perkins, (R) Dover-Foxcroft.
More than 100 people attended. Many who were there also at a protest outside the Cross Insurance Center, where the hearing was held.
“So there’s going to be differences of opinions and different specialists saying different things. I trust the National Resources Council of Maine.” said Nora Tryon a team member at Lumenart! who put a display up before the hearing.
Most who spoke at the hearing were opposed to the rezoning of the 374-acre area on Pickett Mountain, citing environmental concerns while those in favor of the rezoning talked about the addition of jobs in the area and measures being taken to protect the surrounding environment.
“If a company was coming forward, they could point to a mine that they’re operating elsewhere that was succeeding, that would be a very different proposition completely, but that’s not the application in front of the LUPC.” said Pete Didisheim, Advocacy Director for Natural Resources Council of Maine
“Right now, technically on paper, Wolfden doesn’t have any operating mines, and I think that’s really where people get wrapped up in the history. I think it’s more important though, to kind of talk about the team, and as a team, we actually do carry a very robust history.” stated Jeremy Ouellette, VP of Project Development at Wolfden Resources.
The Maine Land Use Planning Commission will make a decision on the rezoning of the site in the following weeks.
“This rezoning is sort of the first phase of a two-stage permitting process. Where if we get an approval to rezone, then that only initiates multiple years of baseline studies, feasibility studies, and that sort of stuff.” said Ouellette.
“It’s a very small company, that’s never built a mine, never operated a mind and they’re going to put it in a pristine area, with, with beautiful lakes, rivers, streams. We think it’s a dangerous idea.” stated Didisheim.
Public comments can be emailed to WolfdenRezoning.LUPC@Maine.gov
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