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For Immediate Release

Date: 04/29/11

Rep. Jim Hamper Named Chair of Environment and Natural Resources Committee

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Jim Hamper has been named House chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, putting him in position to shape legislation on issues ranging from air and water quality to returnable containers. He also has been appointed to the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.

Rep. Hamper (R-Oxford), now in his fourth legislative term, brings strong experience to his new chairmanship post. During the last two terms, he served as the ranking Republican on the Natural Resources Committee.

Rep. Hamper said he is looking forward to his assignments. "Chairing one committee and serving on another will make for a busy schedule, but I'm anxious to get started," he said. "With regards to Environment and Natural Resources, I hope to emphasize science over emotion. Over my years on this committee, I have noticed that science often takes a back seat to emotionalism, which has a negative impact on jobs, business and the overall economy of the state. We will take a commonsense approach to bills and issues that come before us."

House Speaker Robert Nutting, who made the appointment, said Rep. Hamper brings a sense of fairness to the job. "Jim Hamper has the right experience for this position, but perhaps more importantly, he is known for his integrity and fair play," he said. "That combination has won him great respect in the Legislature. I have no doubt that he will handle this important committee in a way that will inspire confidence in its work."

The Environment and Natural Resources Committee has jurisdiction over the Department of Environmental Protection and numerous related issues, such as air and water quality; shoreland zoning and disposal of solid, hazardous and biomedical wastes. Additionally, it handles management of hydropower and dams, waste-to-energy facilities and general environmental policy. It also is involved with returnable containers, subdivisions and growth management.

Sen. Tom Saviello (R-Franklin) is the Senate chair of the panel, which has 13 members - eight Republicans and five Democrats. ###

Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445