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Four key environmental bills from Maine’s 130th Legislature you probably don’t know about – The Maine Monitor – 152news
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Editor’s Notice: The subsequent story first appeared Inside the Maine Monitor’s free environmental publication, Local climate Monitor, That is destayred to inboxes Freed from cost every Friday morning. Acquire the publication So that you will Have The power to study tales like this quicklyer by registering right here.

Sure, the legislative session ended awright hereas in the past, And mightbe you’ve all moved on and are alstudyy Wanting forward to November elections and subsequent session.

We On the Monitor are nonetheless wading by way of the 969 funds (!!) that turned regulation final session, and thought This Is in a place to be A great time, now that the mud has settled, To spotlight A pair of You can have missed. (That decide doesn’t embrace the 27 funds that have been vetoed, by The biggest method.)

As a Outcome of my makes an try to plod by way of all 996 gadgets of legal guidelines failed miserably (I by no means did grasp these velocity studying methods my dad tried To level out me), I turned Instead to Kathleen Meil, director of coverage & partnerships at Maine Conservation Voters, to get her Deal with A few of the legal guidelines they have been watching this yr.

Tright here have been Pretty A pair Of good funds that handed, collectively with these Aimed in the direction of limiting the unfprevious of PFAS and enhancing grid planning. However these acquired A lot of press, so I assumed I’d ask Meil A few few of the legal guidelines we didn’t hear as a lot about. Listed right here are some spotlights from what we talked about:

LD 489: Decision, Proposing an Modification to the Structure of Maine To decide a Proper to a Healthful Environment

This invoice, which finally Did not move, was a proposal for a constitutional amendment Which might have enshrined a right to a “clear and healthy environment and to the preservation of the pure, cultural and healthful qualities of the environment.”

It required the state to “protect, shield and primarytain the State’s pure useful assets, collectively with, but not restricted to, its air, water, land and ecosystems for The Benefit of All of the people, collectively with generations but To return.”

Regardless of The very Incontrovertible actuality that it Did not garner The required 2/3 assist from The house, this invoice is worth noting Because it’s emblematic of a rising movement Throughout the globe looking for to codify The biggest to a clear and healthy environment in regulation. A minimal of six states, collectively with Ny, Montana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Massachusetts and Hawaii, have such shieldions, and advocates say it’s probably This will return in Maine in the shut to future.

Pennsylvania adopted a constitutional Environmental Propers Modification Simply like that being proposed in Maine method again in 1971. “They then used that constitutional right As a Outcome of the idea for authorized movement when clear water, air, healthy environment was being violated,” said Meil.

Many who opposed the Maine invoice, by no meanstheless, apprehensive about a cascade of unintended penalties, given the proposal’s broad language. Wouldn’t it forestall housing from being constructed? Wastewater infrastructure? Renewable power tasks?

Commissioner Melanie Loyzim of the Maine Division of Environmental Safety referred to as the invoice’s language “extreme,” with “monumental” potential ramifications for state businesses.

Loyzim provided a hypothetical: if the Division requires househouse personalers to deal with wastewater discost at a diploma of 99% administration influenceiveness for hormones earlier than permitting it to be discostd into groundwater (like A house septic system), one other resident using that similar aquifer or bedrock fracture might declare the agency violated their constitutional right To wash groundwater by way of inmovement.

How the courts would deal with declares like That is anyone’s guess, said Loyzim, but they Want to be thought-about.

The 39 members that make up the Environmental Priorities Coalition assisted the invoice, but Meil acknowledged tright here have been A lot of unanshave beend questions.

“I do assume We now have a obligation to ask how might this be Utilized in a method that’s counter to our goals. Tright here are a ton of tensions we’re going to be navigating for quite A wright hereas about what a climate resilient future appears like,” she said, including that That Is in all probability going not the final we’ll see of funds like this.

“Tright here’ll proceed to be conflicts between conservation and clear power,” said Meil. “It’s going to be a wild journey.”

LD 736: An Act To reinforce …….



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