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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook 1990
Year 1990, Volume 2 (1990)

Harrison, Donald K.; Anderson, Walter; Foley, Michael E.
Maine,   pp. [234]-239 PDF (747.1 KB)

Page 236

236  MAINE—199(disposal site for the State's low-level radioactive
waste. The majority of the radioactive waste in the State is generated by
Maine Yankee. The MLLRWA was also considering a site in Aroostook County.
In September, the Maple Mountain Manganese Co. offered its 500acre site west
of Bridgewater in Aroostook County as another possible disposal site. The
company purchased Maple Mountain in 1987 to mine manganese, but after feasibility
studies ~ indicated that mining was neither possible nor profitable, offered
the site to the waste authority. However, in November, 
~ voters in the community overwhelmingly 
~ voted to reject the mining company's 
~ offer. The MLLRWA, in turn, also 
~ rejected the proposal because before any 
~ site can be used as a LLRW dump, it 
~ must be approved by 60 % of the voters in the community, according to Maine
law. The MLLRWA must find a lowlevel radioactive waste disposal site in Maine
in the event the State is unable to negotiate a contract with an out-of-State
disposal facility. 
 In 1990, the average number of workers5 employed in the mineral extractive
industries in 1990 was 1,058. This included 449 workers in the sand and gravel
industry, 300 in the stone industry, and 7 at other nonmetal operations.
In addition, 302 workers were employed at mineral-related mills and preparation
plants in the State. 
 Legislation to rewrite Maine's nonferrous metal mining regulations was signed
into law (Public Law 1990, Chapter 874) in April. Chapter 874 established
upfront fees to process nonferrous metal mining applications and an annual
licensing fee of $10,000. The nonferrous metal mining applications are distinguished
from other mining applications such as those for sand and gravel pits and
stone quarries. The law 
also required the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine
Land Use Regulation Commission to jointly adopt or amend rules for this activity
by February 1 , 1991. 
 Several bills concerning environmental issues were signed into law in 1990.
Some of the bills addressed the disposal of dredged material, air and water
quality improvement, and amending the State's existing hazardous and solid
waste laws. 
 The Maine Geological Survey (MGS), a bureau of the Department of Conservation,
continued to map, interpret, and publish geological information and provide
technical assistance to the minerals industry, planning and regulatory agencies,
and the general public. During the year, the MGS continued on an aggregate
assessment of the offshore sand and gravel resources, including an evaluation
ofthe heavy-mineral content of the sands. The study was in response to the
continuing pressure on land-based aggregate resources. 
Industrial Minerals 
 Cenient.—Maine remained the only New England State that produced
Dragon Products Co. , a subsidiary of CDN Cementos del Norte, produced portland
and masonry cement at a plant in Thomaston, Knox County. The company also
operated 16 ready-mixed concrete plants throughout the State. In 1990, both
production and value of portland and masonry cement declined from 1989 levels.
The primary reason for the decline was the continuing depressed construction
market in the Northeast. 
 A new $9.4 million scrubbing system began operating at the Thomaston plant
in 1990. The new system recycles waste cement kiln dust (CKD) and reduces
sulfur dioxide (SO~) emissions. The process , named the Passamaquoddy Technology
Recovery Scrubber, uses 90% of the 502 and a portion of the carbon dioxide
(CO~) in the kiln exhaust 
gas to recycle all of the plant's CKD into kiln feed, potassium fertilizer,
and distilled water. The system can also be used to reclaim landfilled CKD.
One-half of the cost of constructing the new scrubber was funded through
the U.S. Department of Energy's Innovative Clean-Coal Technology Programs.
 During the year, Dragon submitted a proposal to the Wiscasset planning board
to build a railroad-to-barge transfer station at the city's waterfront. The
company plans to ship the cement by rail to the terminal from its Thomaston
plant and then barge it to Boston and New Hampshire. Although the proposal
received unanimous approval by the town planning board, construction of the
transfer station is contingent on a number of conditions. These conditions
include meeting State Department of 
~ Environmental Protection standards for dust emission, monitoring noise
~ alerting lobstermen of barge traffic 
~ schedules, and that there be no stockpiles 
~ of materials at the station. 
 Clays.—Morin Brick Co. , the State's 
~ only producer of clay, mined common 
~ clay at operations in Androscoggin and 
~ Cumberland Counties primarily for use in 
~ brick manufacturing. After almost 
~ 4 years of seeking approval, the company 
~ received State Department of 
~ Environmental Protection (DEP) approval 
~ to mine clay on an 89-acre parcel of land 
~ near Auburn, Androscoggin County. The 
~ area to be mined is adjacent to the area 
~ currently being worked by the company. 
~ In order to mine the parcel, Morin must 
~ abide by DEP regulations concerning 
~ truck traffic movement, air quality, 
~ streamwater runoff, establishment of 
~ buffer zones, and noise control. 
 Genzslones.—Semiprecious and gemquality mineral specimens continued
to attract rockhounds and mineral specimen collectors to the State. Many
fine specimens of amethyst, aquamarine, citrine, heliodor, morganite, topaz,
and tourmaline, to name a few, have been collected in the State. Popular
collecting localities include quarries in 

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