AUGUSTA — Maine’s open pit mining regulations will be at issue when a legislative committee meets.

The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources takes up a bill Monday afternoon that seeks to change Maine’s Metallic Mineral Mining Act to add water quality protections. Environmentalists are supporting the bill, L.D. 1302, which would also require an independent, third-party estimate of cleanup costs and a funding source to pay for it.

Lawmakers enacted a law last year to revise Maine’s mining regulations amid interest by a Canadian company in metal reserves in the northern part of the state. That law started a process of updating the state’s mining rules and regulations.

Environmentalists at the time expressed reservations with the law, saying it weakens groundwater standards and cleanup requirements for mining operations.

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