Maine Pollution Abatement Facilities, Referendum Question No. 1 (1977)

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The Maine Pollution Abatement Facilities Bond Issue, also known as Referendum Question No. 1, was on the December 5, 1977 ballot in Maine as a legislatively-referred bond question, where it was approved.[1] The measure issued up to $30 million in bonds for the planning, construction and equipment of pollution abatement facilities. The bonds could not run for a period greater than 20 years. The expenditure of the proceeds of bonds was to be overseen by the Department of Environmental Protection.[2][3]

Background

In 1964, a legislatively-referred bond question originally issued $25 million in bonds to fund pollution abatement facilitates.[1][4] Then, also on the ballot in 1969, a measure was approved to increase in the interest rate for these state bonds from five to six percent. That measure was placed on the ballot because the contemporary bond market was not favorable to low interest bonds. It was unlikely that bonds authorized but unissued in the amount of $16 million for this water pollution abatement payments measure and $250 thousand for the development of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway could be sold at an interest rate of 5 percent. Without raising the interest rate, it was likely the bonds would have gone unsold and these projects could not have been continued.[3]

The interest rate limit on these pollution abatement bonds was completely repealed in 1970 by another legislatively-referred bond question. According to the Attorney General's explanatory statement on the measure, the unissued balance of bonds remained $16,000,000. It was unlikely that the bonds could be sold at their limited interest rate of six percent. The measure removed that interest limitation making the bonds more marketable.[5]

Aftermath

In 1980, a further $15,735,000 in bonds were issued to plan, construct and equip pollution abatement facilities and to clean up and mitigate public health and environmental threats from uncontrolled hazardous substance sites.[1][6]

Election results

Maine Referendum Question No. 1 (1977)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 125,760 59.38%
No86,03940.62%

Election results via: Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, Votes on Maine Bond Issues, 1951-

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[3]

"Shall a bond issue be ratified for the purposes set forth in 'An Act to Authorize General Fund Bond Issue in the Amount of $30,000,000 for the Planning, Construction and Equipment of Pollution Abatement Facilities passed by the First Regular Session of the 108th Legislature?" [7]

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