Pickett Mountain Mine Rezoning Application, ZP 779A – Wolfden Mt. Chase LLC

Last Updated: February 12, 2024

On January 18, 2023, the Maine Land Use Planning Commission received an application from Wolfden Mt. Chase LLC to rezone approximately 374 acres of land in T6 R6 WELS from General Management and Protection Subdistricts to a Planned Development Subdistrict (D-PD). The purpose of the proposed D-PD subdistrict is to develop and operate a metallic mineral mine. The application is subject to, and will be reviewed under, the Commission’s Chapter 12 rules (Mining and Level C Mineral Exploration Activities). Chapter 12 requires a public hearing to be held by the Commission prior to a final decision on the application

For information on the Public Hearing, see the Millinocket and Bangor Public Hearing Notices.

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About the Rezoning Application

This webpage is a source of information about the Commission’s review of the Pickett Mountain Mine Rezoning Application, including the Commission’s review criteria and the process for evaluating the application. Documents relating to each step in the process will be posted in the table below as soon as they are available. If you wish to receive email updates and notices related to the Commission’s review of this application, please sign-up using the blue box on the upper right of this webpage.

Public comments on this application are welcome until the close of the record after the hearing. The LUPC encourages interested persons to submit written comments by email to Wolfdenrezoning.LUPC@maine.gov. Written comments submitted on paper should be sent to the Maine Land Use Planning Commission, Attention: Tim Carr, 22 State House Station, 18 Elkins Lane, Augusta, ME 04333-0022.

A public hearing notice will be published including information on how to participate, request intervenor status, and receive future hearing notifications.

For additional information, contact Tim Carr at (207) 592-4129, or through the project email address listed above. The media contact for the project is Jim Britt, jim.britt@maine.gov or (207) 287-3156.

Location map of Wolfden project

Role of the Land Use Planning Commission

An applicant wishing to seek a metallic mineral mining permit from the Department of Environmental Protection under the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act (Title 38, Chapter 3, Subchapter 1, Article 9) for a project located wholly or in part within the unorganized areas of the State must first petition and receive approval from the Commission for a change in the zoning subdistrict boundary to a custom, Planned Development (D-PD) Subdistrict. The D-PD subdistrict is the only Commission zoning subdistrict that would allow for metallic mineral mining. The general purpose of the D-PD subdistrict is to allow for large scale, well-planned development that depends on a particular natural feature or location that is available at the proposed site.

Criteria for Approval

Pursuant to 12 M.R.S.A., Section 685-A(8-A), no change in a district boundary shall be approved by the Commission unless there is substantial evidence that:

  1. The change would be consistent with the standards for D-PD Development Subdistrict boundaries in effect at the time; the Comprehensive Land Use Plan; and the purpose, intent and provisions of 12 M.R.S.A. Chapter 206-A; and

  2. The change in districting will have no undue adverse impact on existing uses or resources or a new district designation is more appropriate for the protection and management of existing uses and resources within the affected area.

Additional factors that the Commission must consider in reviewing an application of this type are included in the LUPC’s Chapter 12 rules, Section 4,B.

Commission Review Process

The major steps of the Commission's review process are given below. Each step will be checked off once completed so that interested persons can follow the process. 'Review of the application by Commission staff' and the 'Public hearing process' may occur concurrently.

  • Receipt of initial rezoning application - Upon receipt by the LUPC, the initial application will be made available for public inspection and review.
  • Review to determine if the application is acceptable for processing - LUPC staff perform an initial content review to identify areas of missing information in the application. The applicant may submit additional information, as necessary. Staff then determine whether the application is acceptable for beginning the review process (known as “complete for processing”).
  • Application accepted for processing - The determination that an application is complete for processing is governed by the Commission’s Chapter 4 rules (Rules of Practice), in particular Section 4.05,A,5.
  • Review of application by Commission staff - LUPC staff undertake a detailed review and analysis of the application. This includes meetings with the applicant, state and federal review agencies, and others to clarify issues and request more information as needed. The application is sent to various state and federal agencies for review and comment. LUPC staff may also engage independent consultants to gather information on issues that staff believe to be necessary and legally relevant.
  • Public hearing process - Once the LUPC staff completes gathering and analyzing information and the application is deemed complete, the Commission begins its formal public hearing process. The public hearing enables the Commission to gather information and ask questions of the applicant and others who may choose to testify. It also allows the applicant and others the opportunity to address the Commission and answer questions. The public hearing process includes providing notice of the public hearings in newspapers and to interested parties, deciding on petitions to intervene, holding pre-hearing conferences, and hosting one or more public hearings to gather official public testimony regarding the proposal.
  • After the public hearings - After the public hearings, the hearing record remains open for at least 10 days to allow interested persons to submit written comments and for at least an additional 7 days after that for filing rebuttal comments. After that time, the public hearing record may be reopened by the Commission, as necessary.
  • Record closed - No further testimony or evidence can be entered into the hearing record.
  • Commission decision - Once the hearing record is closed, the Commission will deliberate and decide on the rezoning. This is typically scheduled at a regularly scheduled Commission business meeting.

Pickett Mountain Mine Documents, Events, and Chronology

Date Project Update or Event File Links
February 14, 2024 Potential Commission Vote
December 13, 2023 Commission Deliberation
November 30, 2023 Eighth Procedural Order
November 21, 2023 Post-Hearing Briefs
November 20, 2023 Seventh Procedural Order
November 9, 2023 Rebuttal Comments
November 7, 2023 Sixth Procedural Order
November 2, 2023 Public Comments Received from 9/22/2023 to 11/2/2023
October 26, 2023 Post-Hearing Submissions
October 25, 2023 Additional Agency Comment
October 23, 2023 Public Hearing, Day 4
October 18, 2023 Public Hearing, Day 3
October 17, 2023 Public Hearing, Day 2
October 16, 2023 Public Hearing, Day 1
October 13, 2023 Fifth Procedural Order
October 12, 2023 Submission of Materials Linked in Pre-Filed Testimony
October 10, 2023 Fourth Procedural Order, including Millinocket Hearing Schedule
September 25, 2023 Wolfden Mt. Chase Pre-Filed Testimony
September 25, 2023 H. C. Haynes (Intervenor 1) Pre-Filed Testimony
September 25, 2023 Tribes and Nonprofits (Intervenor 2) Pre-Filed Testimony
September 22, 2023 Notice of Bangor Public Hearing Session
September 21, 2023 Public Comments Received from 8/22/2023 to 9/21/2023
September 16, 2023 Notice of Millinocket Public Hearing Sessions
September 15, 2023 Request for Clarification and Responses
September 14, 2023 Letter from Legislators Requesting an Additional Hearing Session
September 11, 2023 Submission of Witness Lists
September 11, 2023 Third Procedural Order
August 28, 2023 Updated Estimated Timeline
August 24, 2023 Second Procedural Order for the Public Hearing
August 21, 2023 Public Comments Received from 7/13/2023 to 8/21/2023
August 11, 2023 Response to Agency Reviews and LUPC Information Requests of July 13, 2023
July 18, 2023 First Procedural Order for the Public Hearing
July 13, 2023 Reviews from Technical Consultants and Other Agencies, Petitions to Intervene in the Public Hearing
July 13, 2023 Public Comments Received from 4/13/2023 to 7/12/2023
June 7, 2023 Initial Notice of Public Hearing
April 14, 2023 Response to LUPC Information Requests of 2/24/2023
April 14, 2023 Public Comments Received Through 4/13/2023
April 14, 2023 Updated Estimated Timeline
March 7, 2023 Original Application
Attachment 6A Errata
February 24, 2023 Completeness Determination/Additional Information Request Letter
January 19, 2023 Estimated Timeline
January 19, 2023 Rezoning Application