Maine's Environmental Priorities Coalition
A program of the Maine Conservation Alliance, the united voice for Maine's environment
2017 PRIORITY BILLS
We all have a right to clean, safe drinking water – it is essential to our health. But for many Mainers who get their water from a well, every sip contains hidden toxic chemicals like arsenic. Current education efforts around well water safety are woefully under-resourced. The Safe Drinking Water Bill will raise awareness about the need to test for arsenic, create a Private Well Safe Drinking Water Fund, and help keep Maine families healthy and safe.
Sponsored by Representative Karen Vachon
Maine’s clean water is one of our most valuable assets and mining poses a serious threat to our rivers, lakes, coastal wa ters, and groundwater. Maine needs strong laws and rules to prevent mining companies from polluting our water and leaving taxpayers to pay for clean-up costs. This bill would ban mining in or under floodplains, public lands, rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. It would also set limits on groundwater pollution and require mining companies to pay for major environmental disasters.
Sponsored by Senator Brownie Carson
Maine families, businesses, and communities should have the opportunity to generate their own power and increase their energy security with solar. But years of solar market uncertainty and legislative inaction are keeping Maine in last place for solar. Maine is the only state in New England without a comprehensive solar policy and we lag behind in solar installations and solar jobs created. An Act To Protect and Expand Access to Solar Power in Maine would eliminate barriers to community solar projects, establish net metering in statute, and make financing easier.
Sponsored by Representative Seth Berry
Protecting our public forests is an investment in Maine people and our way of life. We owe it to future generations to preserve and enhance the value of Maine’s public forests. The Public Reserved Lands Bill advances the unanimous recommendations of the bipartisan study commission by requiring regular reporting on forest inventory, growth and harvest levels; creating a grant program to educate new loggers; bolstering recreation opportunities; and improving access to state forests, including for Maine people with disabilities.
Sponsored by Senator Tom Saviello
Reducing food waste brings financial and health benefits to our families and communities. Too much food is being wasted in Maine, putting a burden on local landfills, adding to disposal costs, harming our air quality, and leaving too many children without enough to eat every day. The Maine Food Recovery Act will help Maine farmers, taxpayers, and municipalities save money while addressing food insecurity and boosting innovative small business.
Sponsored by Representative Craig Hickman