ANY HOPE THAT MAINE’S JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE WILL LISTEN TO “WE THE PEOPLE” AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ON RESPONSE TO UN CHANGED RE SUBMITTED MINING RULES?

To whom it may concern,

The agreement that the Environment and Natural Resources Committee chairs, Senator Tom Saviello and Representative Joan Welsh, made with me that my mining bill (LD750) would have a public hearing prior to the work session on the re-submitted rejected rules from last term (LD146) has been broken: LD750 has not yet been scheduled for a public hearing (though it is in the hands of the Committee), and LD146 has a scheduled work session this Thursday, March 19, at 2:30pm.

Representative Ralph Chapman

March 15, 2015

That was not just a promise made to you Ralph, it was a promise  made to “we the people”.
 
Committee action on LD146, though,  requires exactly what LD750 is aiming at.
The law, MAPA 257,  requires that the JSC ENR speak specifically and clearly to how the re submitted rules align with legislative intent.
The Attorney General has advised JSC ENR of their duty in this regard.  They cannot avoid speaking to whether intent was
(1) that the same standards of environmental protection in site of development  and natural resources protection law were expected to apply in the mining irules in a way that better acknolwdged the ultra high risk and complexisties of mining or
(2) whetherthe intent was, as mining interest lobbyists intended,   to remove the insurmountable barrier these standards pose to maine’s known metal depsoits because of the high arsenic high sulfide geochemistry of these deposits and their proximity to protected surface waters.
It’s as simple as that.
That is the only clarification needed, really, and all else falls into place with perfect clarity.
This drifting off into this one’s list of 10 specific changes and that one’s additional 5 is just smoke and mirrors diverting everyone’s attention from this one core confusion.
 
To proceed on the basis that this one’s list or that one’s will “fix the rules” in a way that prevents the issuance of permits for mine plans and mine operators that will as, Dr. Moran has warned, GUARANTEEE non remediable long term ongoing breaches of environmental security at the publics sole expense is a breach of public duty to this generation and to future generations.
 
JSC/ENR has breached its public duty  three tmes  already:
(1) once in not recognizing immediately that they did not possess the technical, scientific and legal knowledge to write  mining law in a hurried last minute lobbyist paid initiative ( or at all); the legal authority to write law is not the same as the moral and ethical obligation to write law that is wise, well informed and sound with respect to the public interest.
(2) once on LD1302 a foolishly misinformed statutory fix ( instead of repealing PL 2011 c.653 and starting over);
(3) and last session in not meeting its duty under law to clarify whether or not legislative intent is for mining to be subject to the same standards and policy as govern site of development and natural resouces protection law t.
We can’t assume, and I have no knowledge that, this planning  session announced with no public notice, will be more of the same pressing along the same disastrous course.  It does not bode well, I’d agree. (  The session this Thursday is a planning session not a work session)
I still see room and opportunity for a final and workable course correction on mining but it cannot happen unless this JSC ENR finally says with perfect clarity and in plain English whether it intends that mining be held to lower standards of law viz site of develoment and natural resources protection law or whether its intent was to recognize the unique complexities and very high risks of minng  in a mining specific rule to these same standards.
 
We can still do that and we have to hope that JSC ENR finally gets that.
I have copied all 256 interestedparties and all of Maine’s journalists who have covered mining on this email.
Whatever happens, the work you, Christoper Johnnson, Ben Chipman , Geoff Gratwock and before you James Boyle have done to elevate and reframe the discussion of mining policy away from the false information of modern technology  and modern law making mining safe  viz environmental security and that mining means jobs toward the geochemical realities of sulfide mining in general and our utra high risk deposits in particular.  You are on my wall of heroes and your work has made a huge difference in the public conversation on mining.  That was the story of the 2/25 hearings.  So many speaking in heir own authentic voices beyond petitions and canned  agendas.
The law is always slow to come to terms with realties like this and often makes  fatal mistakes in both directions, too much and too little effective envionmntal security. What you all have accomplished has definitely changed public expectations and public understanding and will therefore eventually be law.
I wasn’t at the hearing but I understand a loud cheer went up wen Chris Johnson gave his eloquent testimony.  It is clear that is what the public demand of all its law makers.
UPDATE 1843 EST 3/17  There will be a public hearing on Rep Chapmans bill , LD750on the 30th .  There will be no work sessions on any other mining bill before that.  The planning session this Thursday may be attended any one.  This was co chair Welsh’s promise and she has delivered/  Thank you Co-Chair Welsh.  Thank you!!!!
UPDATE 03/27/15  It seems very clear the JSC ENR has no intention of clarifying policy as the law requires and  have pre decided an ought not to pass on Chapmans bill and its fundamental call to policy clarifications.
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About lindsaynewlandbowker

Bowker Associates, Science & Research In The Public Interest, is an independent non profit providing self initiated pro bono analysis on key issues with a potential for massive adverse environmental impact . Bowker Associates has been an internationally recognized and cited voice in analysis of the Samarco failure, its consequence, and the possibilties for recovery. In 2015 Bowker Associates collaborated with globally respected geophysicist David M. Chambers to recompile global authoritative accounts of significant TSF failures in recorded history and to analyze these data in the context of gloal mining economics 1910-2010 ( Risk, Economics and Public Liability of TSF Failures, Bowker/Chambers July 2015) In 2014 Bowker Associates commissioned globally respected geophysicist and hydrogeologist Dr. David Chambers to undertake two technical works: (1) development of technical go no go criteria for vetting mine applications tp://lindsaynewlandbowker.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/a-new-statutory-regulatory-framework-for-responble-sulfide-mining-should-this-mine-be-built/ and (2) a case study of Maine's Bald Mountain, an un mined low grade high risk VMS deposit demonstrating the efficacy and accuracy of two risk assessment tools in vetting mine proposals https://lindsaynewlandbowker.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/mountain-x-would-you-issue-a-permit-to-this-mine/ In Maine, Bowker Associates has deeply engaged and been a public voice in the Searsport DCP LPG Tank, The Cianbro proposal for a Private East West Toll Road, JD Irvings rolling pipeline of Bakken crude to its plant in St. John and review of Phase II plans at The Callahan Superfund site in Brooksville, Maine, and Maine's revisitation of mining in statute and regulation... Our only “client”: is always “the pubic interest”. Our model is to focus on only one or two issues at a time so that we have a substantive command of the relevant field as our foundation for ongoing engagement. Our core work is in envirommental risk management, science and technology as well as bringing any available “best practices” models to the fore. The legal and regulatory history/best models are also a major thrust of our work in building and evaluating public policy. Director/Principal Lindsay Newland Bowker, CPCU, ARM is a recognized expert in Environmental Risk Management., Heavy Construction Risk Management and Marine and Transit Risks and has more than 3 decades of engagement in buiding public policy. Appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo to New York State Banking Board (served 1986-1996); President New York Chapter Chartered Property and Casualty Insurers; Environmental Committee, Risk and Insurance Management Society; Director, Convenor/Co-Chair Bermuda Market Briefing "From Captive to Cats" Hamilton Bermuda. Published Articles of Significance The Risk Economics and Public Liability of Tailings Facility Failures, co-authored with David M. Chambers, July 2015 Beyond. Polarization: Superfund Reform in Perspective, Risk & Insurance Managing Risk For Loss Prevention & Cost Control (Jan. 24, 1997). Lead Hazards and Abatement Technologies in Construction: A Risk Management Approach CPCU Journal 1997 Employee Leasing: Liability in Limbo Risk Management June 1 1997 Environmental Audit Privilege and the Public interest Risk & Insurance Managing Risk For Loss Prevention & Cost Control, April 1997 Asbestos:Holes In Abatement Policies Need To Be Plugged, Lloyd’s Environmental Risk International, May 1993 Editor Published Letters Evironmental Risk Management Beware of Facile Policies Like Fetal Protection Business Insurance 1995(?) High Court Review May Increase Sale of Bank Annuities Business Insurances August 8, 1995 Professional Profiles Protecting the Big Apple’s Core Managing Risk For Loss Prevention & Control December 1996 Major Career Highlights First rigorous analysis showing Relationship Between declining ore grades and TSF Failures of increasing consequence ( July 2015) FIrst Documentation that Gentrification Has Same Impacts as Unassisted Displacement from Urban Renewal Sites Direted Court Ordered EIS of FHA Mortgage Scandal Created Nation's First Homeownership Program for Low Income People (SHIP) Created Earliest Geographic Information Systems Using Defense Technology Developed By IBM Designed and Conducted Parallel Census Count to Show Systematic undercount in minority neighborhoods Documented Bias in ISO Territory Rating Plans for Private Passenger Auto Insurance Using ISO's own Rating Techniques Demonstrated Inherent Bias in Mortgage Policies of Banks With Inner City Branches Demonstrated that NY Telephones Plan for Area Code Split To accommodate anticipated cell phone demand was not efficient and would exhaust in 5 years ( which it did) Undertook First Systematic Evaluation of Child Protective Services Caseload Using Multi Variate Analyic Techniques Developed Child Protective Caseload Management and Tracking System (CANTS) and directed implementation in 4 client states including Illinois, Florida and New York Created and Ran Office of Risk Management for NYC DEP the Nations largest Water & Sewer Authority . Designed, Created and Administered Nation's First Owner Controlled Insurance Program (OCIP)for High Risk Tunneling Education Masters NYU Graduate School of Public Administration BSC New School For Social Research Maine Public Schools Deering High School
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