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LePage environmental bill introduced Monday

Maine Gov. Paul LePage, center, listens to speakers at a round table discussion on environmental issues, in Augusta, Maine, on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011.
The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine lawmakers will get their first detailed look at Gov. Paul LePage’s environmental regulatory reform bill, which gets the numerical distinction of being LD No. 1 among the hundreds of bills being introduced this year.

The Joint Select Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform will hold its hearing on Monday. It’s expected to last well into the afternoon.

While LePage’s bill is aimed at revising, simplifying and easing scores of environmental and land-development regulations, it has raised concerns of many who fear any degradation of the state’s environmental protections will also weaken its attraction to businesses. Last month, more than 500 people packed a forum in which resource-oriented businesses and activities addressed LePage and made their point.

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