The state has hired a Michigan company for the first major rewrite of its metallic mining regulations in 20 years.
The Bangor Daily News reported that the state's Department of Environmental Protection has hired North Jackson Co., based in Marquette, Mich., and will use Maine-based S.W. Cole Engineering as a local subcontractor on the $175,000 job.
The Michigan company was the sole bidder on the rewrite request.
The revision to mining regulations comes after a law passed last legislative session that will transfer control of mining permits from the state's DEP to the Land Use Regulation Commission, the paper reported. Much of the debate over that bill focused on mining at Bald Mountain in Aroostook County.
Portions of that mountain are owned by J.D. Irving Ltd. and forest management consultants Prentiss and Carlisle. During debate in March, Democratic Rep. John Martin of Eagle Lake, who lost his re-election bid this year, said representatives from Irving came to him to with interest in reopening a mine at that site.
The paper reported that since 1991, when the most recent mining regulations took effect, the state has received no requests for mining permits.