Current Lake Legislation in Maine
2013 Initiatives we are Watching
The Maine Congress of Lake Associations publishes periodic reports on legislation to inform you about 2013 actions affecting lakes in the Maine State Legislature. We provide this service to assist lake users and stewards make their views known about bills that could impact their lives and the well-being of their communities. The following is a summary of 3 bills of interest to the lakes community. We will post updates here when these initiatives are scheduled for a hearing. The general fund bond issue (#1 below) is a major focus for us this year.
An Act to Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue to Ensure Clean Water and Safe Communities
This bill creates a fund to preserve Maine’s high quality water resources. The Fund would be used to conserve land such as lake watersheds, aquifer recharge areas and forested headwaters and to improve man-made structures such as stream crossings, roads and culverts. Increasing pressure on lake ecosystems from climate and development, coupled with budget cuts and agency downsizing make this vital measure one that all of us should actively support. Stay tuned and tell your friends!
LD 730: An Act to Protect Maine’s Loons by Banning Lead Sinkers and Jigs
Expanding the ban of lead sinkers to include the sale and use of lead sinkers up to 1 oz. and lead jigs up to 2.5 inches will reduce mortality and improve survival for Maine’s loons. Lead poisoning is the leading cause of loon death in Maine (97 lead poisonings out of 352 loon deaths have been documented since 1987 by Tufts University) Expected in Committee in late March.
LD 674: An Act to Clarify the Natural Resources Protection Act
Here comes another Takings Bill! Not only that, but the clarification involved will drastically reduce setbacks for high and moderate value inland waterfowl and wading bird habitat (to 75') and vernal pools (75'). The Takings involves reimbursing landowners for the loss in property value caused by the setback. Takings inevitably inhibit land use regulation, and land use determines water quality.
Please share this information with interested friends.
Maine Congress of Lake Associations
Maggie Shannon, Executive Director, Maine COLA