Maine lawmakers are listening to testimony regarding a constitutional modification that would codify the ideal to a clear and healthful natural environment.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Rep. Maggie O’Neil, D-Saco, is proposing a bill that would shield Mainers appropriate to a cleanse surroundings. She argued that if Maine had this constitutional amendment, people could file lawsuits to stop air pollution, rather of waiting around for the legislature to go rules to clean it up.
“Our federal government utilized to permit spreading sludge that had PFAS and that contaminated soil and there was a position in time that we recognized it was harmful and the legislature was getting time to act,” O’Neil stated.
Members of the Atmosphere and All-natural Methods Committee had a amount of queries for speakers in the course of the listening to, which includes Anthony Moffa, who is an environmental legislation professor at the University of Maine College of Law. He stated other states have taken up this modification and not experienced any troubles.
“Substantially of these conversations all-around these amendments tends to descend into, ‘Well, can I sue my neighbor based on this amendment?’ And the way this existing version is structured, I examine it to be as in opposition to the government, not automatically as Mainers in opposition to Mainers,” Moffa claimed.
Due to the fact this proposal is a constitutional amendment, it desires a substantial quantity of guidance. As it stands now, it has a prolonged way to go.
Even if it survives a committee vote, then it desires two-thirds help in both equally chambers of the legislature. Then, Maine voters would even now get the remaining say.
Testimony at the general public hearing for the proposed bill lasted about three hours of testimony Wednesday, such as shows from young voters.
“We will not have nearly anything without having a clean up environment. We would not be in a position to have these public hearings. We never have politics. We will not have an financial state,” Anna Lyons, 20, mentioned.
But not absolutely everyone is certain the bill is a superior strategy. The Maine Division of Environmental Safety testified neither for nor versus this bill.
“In 2021 a equivalent resolution with a great deal extra element was released as LD 489 and opposed by the division,” the division mentioned in its testimony.
The DEP mentioned it stays neutral on this bill due to the fact as it truly is composed it isn’t going to modify any state statute.
Many others who testified Wednesday stated this modification is truly not necessary in Maine.
“We assistance our setting. We want to safeguard our natural environment. The regulatory organizations and the construction that we now have in put we feel is ample,” Ben Lucas from the Maine Condition Chamber of Commerce stated.
He additional the recent zoning and other rules are already performing the job to continue to keep Maine clean and nutritious.