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Alexandra Fields,
Environment Maine

Committee Drops Worst LURC Rollbacks After Public Outcry

For Immediate Release

The Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry gave final approval this afternoon to a bill to overhaul the Land Use Regulation Commission, LD 1798. The Committee passed the bill by a unanimous vote after major changes were made to the bill, including stripping out the provision that allowed counties to drop out of LURC’s protections.

“This bill has come a very long way, and we’re thrilled that the worst part was thrown out as a result of the public outcry. But we continue to have concerns about the makeup of the new Commission and the standards that will guide their decisions. We’re committed to closely watchdog the changes as they are implemented and to continue to fight to protect the North Woods for future generations.”

At the hearing on the bill, which lasted for more than seven hours, the vast majority of the public spoke out against the rollbacks in the bill, with opponents outnumbering supporters by about a 4:1 ratio. Last month, Environment Maine delivered 17,000 messages to lawmakers from citizens in every legislative district in the state urging them to protect Maine’s North Woods and reject the rollbacks contained in LD 1798.

“We want to thank the very hard work of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who fought hard to make this a better bill. The North Woods are where generations of Maine people have learned to love the outdoors—and we need to keep it that way.”

 

Environment Maine is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working to preserve Maine’s open spaces, protect clean air and water, and steer the state toward a clean energy future. For more information, please visit www.environmentmaine.org