By Kate BrubakerAUGUSTA, Maine — Environmental protection officials in Maine said Monday they would continue to enforce a moratorium on new coal mining in the state.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection says it will enforce a ban on new mining in three areas of the state for the next five years, including a proposed coal mine near Baxter, the state’s second-largest city.
Maine’s coal industry has been in decline since the state banned coal mining and mining of natural gas and oil in 2013.
That moratorium expired in 2016.
The department said the moratorium will be enforced in three locations, including in the Baxter area and along the border with Massachusetts.
The ban will not apply to any of the existing mines, including the one planned by West Virginia-based Dominion Resources.
The Department of the Environment says it is working with other agencies and the private sector to develop a statewide coal-free plan to minimize carbon emissions.