Bills in the Legislature Pertinent to Tribal-State Matters, Water Quality, and the Environment

             

  • LD 1626 – An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act. As part of the 1980 Settlement, the State of Maine acquired unusual and extensive jurisdiction on Wabanaki lands that other states generally do not have on tribal lands. This bill would substantially change the tribal-state jurisdictional structure on both the historic reservations and the territorial lands reacquired by the Tribes after the Settlement. The basic purpose of this fundamental reexamination of the Maine Implementing Act is to restore to the Wabanaki Tribes and their members the rights under federal Indian law that they had prior to the Settlement.
  • LD 585 – An Act To Restore to the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe the Authority To Exercise Jurisdiction under the Federal Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. This bill would extend to the Wabanaki tribal courts the same authority that other tribal courts have regarding felonies committed by Indians on tribal lands.
  • LD 906 – An Act To Provide Passamaquoddy Tribal Members Access to Clean Drinking Water. This bill is designed to help resolve the longstanding water quality issues at Sipayik. The Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik has been facing a decades-long water crisis, including boil water notices and unsafe levels of trihalomethanes in the tap water which are know to cause health issues such as cancer and liver and kidney problems. Community members are forced to rely on bottled water or drive ten miles away to a church in Robbinston to fill containers for drinking, cooking, and household use. To learn more about this issue, you can visits sites here or here.
  • LD 1875 – An Act To Address Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Pollution from State-owned Solid Waste Disposal. This bill would require pre-treatment of landfill leachate for PFAS, which, because of the prevalence of PFAS in our waste streams, is showing alarming levels of PFAS contamination. The state-owned Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town is of great concern as leachate is being released into the Penobscot River which the Penobscot Nation relies on for sustenance.
  • LD 1911 – An Act To Prohibit the Contamination of Clean Soils with So-called Forever Chemicals. This bill seeks to close a loophole in state law that currently allows spreading of sludge and sludge-derived compost unless it has been tested for PFAS and meets levels approved by Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

         

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