- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine’s Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has rejected a proposal to overhaul Maine’s metallic mining regulations.

The House voted 109-36 against the bill on Thursday. It faces further votes in the House and the Republican-controlled Senate.

Supporters of overhauling the mining rules say the state’s current regulations are so out-of-date and restrictive that mining is nearly impossible. They say mining could bring vast economic benefits to rural and economically depressed parts of Maine.

But environmental groups and many lawmakers have fiercely opposed the new rules, which they say don’t include enough protections for Maine’s natural resources.

Metallic mining has remained dormant in Maine for decades, but J.D. Irving Ltd. purchased Bald Mountain in the late 1990s and is interested in mining there.

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