A bill to reduce the effects of climate change in Maine has earned support from the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee. 

 Rep. William Noon, D-Springvale, sponsored the bill, LD 825, that would require the Department of Environmental Protection to resume work on a plan on how state government can mitigate climate change in Maine.

 The DEP terminated its study of climate change in 2010. Since then, data illustrating the rapid acceleration of climate change has necessitated the reopening of the study.

 The state in 2010 made more than 60 recommendations for action.  It took nearly two years for this administration to submit a two page response, Noon testified.

 “I find this response inadequate,” Noon said.  “Climate change is among the most serious dilemmas facing our generation and future generations.  It requires genuine action.”

 Upon completion of the research, the DEP would be required to submit a carbon emissions reduction plan to the Legislature.

 Rep. Anne-Marie Mastraccio, D-Sanford, is a co-sponsor of the bill.

 “Temperature changes are part of normal climate cycles, but when 10 of the hottest years on record have all occurred since 1990, that is a problem,” said Mastraccio. “We need to take meaningful action to get rid of pollution that is destroying our atmosphere, changing our weather patterns and damaging our health.”

 Fourteen people testified in support of this legislation, including Pete Didisheim from the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

 “Maine will face huge economic impacts from climate change,” said Didisheim.  “LD 825 recognizes that state government has an important role to play in assessing those risks, and working with communities, businesses, and Maine people to implement strategies that help increase our resilience and preparedness in the face of those risks.”

 The bill received support from the committee and will go to the full Legislature for a vote.  For more information on the bill go to:  http://goo.gl/J0Li6

 Noon is serving his first term in the Maine House of Representatives and represents Acton and parts of Lebanon and Sanford.  Mastraccio is also serving her first term in the Legislature and represents part of Sanford.

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