RSS

MRC to announce their new buyer on Tuesday January 19 at 1:00 PM

Finally a buyer has been selected to restart and operate the Fiberight waste recycling facility in Hampden Maine The identity of the new buyer will be announced on January 19th Watch and listen to the presentation Jan 19th at this zoom link : https://zoom.us/j/94724611326

The Municipal Review committee is a group of 115 municipalities organized originally to collectively negotiate agreements with the PERC waste-to-energy facility in Orrington, Maine to burn their Municipal Solid Waste.

Then in 2018 the new Fiberight plant, AKA Coastal Resources of Maine, a competing trash recycling / waste to energy facility in Hampden, started up. But then it had to shut down in May of 2020, as they were never able to fully operate as promised, and ran out of money. Since then the solid waste of the MRC towns and cities has been sent to Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town and the PERC trash to energy incinerator in Orrington This should end once the Fiberight plant restarts. Time will tell…

 
 

At Jan 7, 2021 BEP mtg: DEP & Big Waste agree: keep Out Of State Waste flowing into Maine!

On January 7, 2021, Maine Board of Environmental Protection held a zoom meeting that included  waste rule changes brought forward by citizens group Don’t Waste ME, Penobscot Nation, and others. Listen to participants below. Fact Sheet (PDF) :: Draft Rule Chapter (PDF) :: Citizen Petition :: Adoption Packet The BEP declined to adopt nearly all the requested rule changes  See Maine Public Radio News story

 The changes would’ve (1)defined waste as “Maine Waste” only if it originated in Maine. This to end a recycling  loophole that lets thousands of truckloads of waste to be brought to Maine  every year from other states and landfilled as “Maine waste”.  (2) they would have instituted Environmental Justice as a regulatory criterion for state  siting  or expansion of  landfills or  their discharging waste.

PART 1 INTRODUCTION; AGENCY ON THE PETITION

  1. Introduction, Mark Draper 2min 19sec

2 Acting DEP Commissioner Melani Loyzim updates  93sec 

3  Review December 15 2020 minutes.  50sec

Chapter 100  Air  Licencing issues 2min

Chapter 400 Rulemaking petition intro 39sec

DEP Paul Clark overview of Chapter 400 issues 11min

DEP Paula Clark Q&A 41min

PART 2 PUBLIC SPEAKERS 

Ed Spencer reads Hillary Lister comments

10 Ed Spencer’s  own comments

11  Procedural question 6min 35sec

12 Dan Thornton, Thornton Construction 3min37sec

13  Kat Taylor, Argyle Maine 10 min

14  Bill Lippincott Don’t Waste ME  4min 15sec

15 Greg Leahy Reenergy  5min42sec

16 Brian Rayback NewsMe Landfill and QA 11min30sec

17  Closing Paula Clark remarks to  break 2min 53 sec

Bill Lippincott 4min 14sec  (see 14)

PART 3 BEP deliberates on DWM’s rulemaking petition Full 30 minute audio

D1 Intro to deliberations 2min10sec

D2 Parker 1min 31sec

D3 Duchesne 5min21sec

D4  Lessard 2min15sec

D5 Pelletier 1min 21sec

D6 Parker 1min31sec

D7 Draper 2min 54sec

D8 Duchesne 1min 21sec

D9 Pelletier and Clark 1min 28sec

D10  Loyzim 1min 18sec

D11 Lessard and Loyzim 2min

D12 Draper and Clark 3min24sec

D13 Draper to vote to end 1min 34sec

End

 

Tags:

DEP recommends against rule changes to end imports of out of state solid waste

With one exception, Maine DEP is recommending Maine Board of Environmental Protection reject the changes in Chapter 400 solid waste rules proposed in Don’t Waste ME’s citizen initiated -proposed rule changes submitted January 13, 2020 **** Video (5min) of Hillary Lister, Bill Lippincott & Ed Spencer speaking at DEP before presenting the petition signatures to the agency

Read DEP’s January 7, 2021 draft memo to the board

On September 17, 2020 (audio) the BEP held a virtual public hearing on the proposed rule change . Documents presented for the meeting: * DEP 9/17/20 cover letter * DEP’s Basis statement for opposing most of draft rule & DEP’s Responses to comments 14pg pdf * Existing Chapter 400 Rules *

* Chapter 400 with Environmental justice additions “Environmental Justice” added on Pages 10 & 51, DEP supports the board adopting the term into DEP rules. DEP recommends against the rest of the proposed rule changes.

 
 

Maine becoming Global Waste Dump?

The recent offloading spill into Penobscot Bay of plastic and textile waste, part of the 10,000 ton shipload of euro-trash shipped from Warrenport Northern Ireland into Searsport, bodes ill for Maine’s future. See media coverage: Bangor Daily News    Penobscot Bay Pilot  WCSH TV Newscenter    WABI TV /

The high winds that blew tons of shredded plastics and cloth waste from torn bales of the material into the water as it was offloaded from the cargo ship London Sider at last week, have also lain bare the Mills Administration’s expansion of waste importation into Maine beyond North America – by adding the tiny nation of Northern Ireland to the stable of American states that Maine accepts waste from.

Why arrange waste agreements with a nation 10,000 square miles smaller than Maine, and 2,700 miles away?Because a deal reached this week in the finalizing Brexit process allows Northern Ireland to remain economically open-borders with the rest of the European Union. With its well protected harbor of Warrenport, the tiny nation w is well positioned to be a veritable firehose of Euro-waste to Maine, ensuring Cassella and its trashy cousins plentiful supplies to further their moundbuilding waste empire in what we formerly called the Dawn State but in the future bay more accurately be termed the Dump State.

That is, if whatever expenses ensue to Sprague Energy and the state of Maine from this initial flubbed Eurowaste importation effort are seen as acceptable losses. If they are, then pragmatic European waste managers will happily send their plastic & textile trash across the pond , and Maine trash moundbuilders will continue to grow their ersatz mountain ranges .

Maine’s new State Motto? “Nugas tuas, nostra nugas. ” Your trash is our trash

to

 
 

Tags:

Crossroads landfill “expansion”? 3 critics call it a new landfill – and a bad idea.

Below read comments on Waste Management Disposal Services of Maine’s application for Landfill Expansion, Crossroads Landfill, Norridgewock, Maine (Somerset County), #S-010735-WD-YB-N

Hillary Lister of Don’t Waste ME comments on  Crossroads Landfill expansion plan  Excerpts “According to Waste Management’s application, it appears that all of the out-of-state waste going into the Crossroads facility is Special waste. The application fails to state how much of that Special waste contains asbestos, sludge, or medical waste. Much of what is classified as “special waste” in Maine is prohibited from landfill disposal in other states.”

“Two acres of the northeast corner of the Crossroads landfill set on fire in the summer of 2018. Construction and demolition debris chips used as cover on a portion of the Crossroads landfill spontaneously combusted, requiring response from multiple departments and State helicopters, resulting in the injury of several local firefighters, and a plume of toxic smoke that issued from the smoldering landfill for weeks.”

Sean Mahoney  Conservation Law Foundation Comments on Crossroads Landfill expansion plan. Excerpts : “Conservation Law Foundation (“CLF”) strongly opposes the Solid Waste Permit Application for Phase 14 Landfill (“Application”) by Waste Management Disposal Services of Maine (“WMDSM”)…..”While the Application is titled as an expansion of the existing Crossroads Landfill in Norridgewock, Maine”,……..”the Application is more accurately described as one for a new landfill, albeit located one half mile from1 the existing, operating, landfill.”, WMDSM has not demonstrated that the new landfill,… meets the requirements set forth in Chapters 400 and 401 of the Maine Solid Waste Management Rules

“Under the terms stated by WMDSM in the Application, WMDSM would not provide a public benefit to the State of Maine.”

Kat Taylor comments on  Crossroads landfill expansion plan  Excerpts The municipalities are looking for a cheap way to dispose of their Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and Construction Demolition Debris (CDD) and the for-profit industries make money off these two products and need somewhere to dump their bypass or residue.”

“The sad fact of the matter is that there is a lot of money in waste management. Until we finally reach a point where Maine is no longer the dumping ground of New England waste facilities will lobby for expansion and argue the Interstate Commerce Clause gives them the right to do so.”

“If Maine, through cooperation of various agencies like the DEP, IFW, ACF and the forest products industry, the hunting and fishing industries, the tourism industries, can unite to finally put an end to the seemingly limitless volume of waste coming into our state by just saying “no more”, then we can finally put to rest this issue of waste management excesses which do so
much harm to our beautiful state and its people.”

 
 

Press-Herald 10/5/20: Group pushes to close loophole in Maine’s ban on out-of-state waste

Environmentalists and grassroots activists say regulations let hundreds of thousands of tons of waste from other states go into Maine’s largest landfill.

By Edward D. Murphy Staff Writer PPH story Link

Environmentalists and grassroots activists are pushing to tighten Maine laws in order to reduce or eliminate hundreds of thousands of tons of out-of-state waste going into the state’s largest landfill.

Maine nominally outlawed the dumping of trash generated in other states in 1989 by banning commercial landfills from operating. That allowed the state to manage the source of waste dumped at the landfills, but a loophole allows mountains of waste from elsewhere to still be disposed of in Maine.

Under the rules, Maine still accepts out-of-state waste for recycling. But the regulations say that if part of a shipment of waste is recycled in Maine, the rest of the shipment is reclassified as in-state waste and can be dumped at Maine’s state-owned landfill.

The loophole allows hundreds of thousands of tons of out-of-state waste to be disposed of in Maine, mostly at the Juniper Ridge landfill in Old Town, the only landfill owned by the state that’s still operating. It is run by Casella Waste under a management contract.

The Natural Resources Council of Maine and others are pushing for changes in the rules to close the loophole, but it may need to wait until the Legislature convenes next year, said Sarah Nichols, sustainable Maine director at the organization.

“This issue is not going to go away, and it’s going to get worse,” Nichols said. “It seems like it’s more ripe than ever.”

Ed Spencer, who lives about 1.5 miles from the Juniper Ridge landfill, says Nichols’ choice of the word “ripe” is appropriate.

On days when his house is downwind from the landfill, a growing mountain of trash, “you can’t breathe,” Spencer said. “It’s impossible to go out.”

Spencer is one of nearly 300 Mainers who are petitioning the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to change the rules and eliminate out-of-state waste from going into the landfill.

Nichols said proponents of changes in the regulations had hoped to use petitions to force the Board of Environmental Protection, which oversees the DEP, to draft changes. But, she said, state rules no longer force regulators to respond directly to petitions, so any change will likely require the Legislature to act next year.

The Natural Resources Council and other advocates might simply draft a bill for lawmakers to consider, Nichols said, but she believes it’s an issue that needs to be dealt with soon. With other states tightening rules on what can be dumped in their landfills, particularly construction and demolition debris, more out-of-staters are likely to be looking for places to take the waste. If Maine’s rules remain the same, she said, the state will remain an attractive destination.

She said about 800,000 tons of waste was dumped at Juniper Ridge last year, and about 220,000 tons came from ReEnergy, a recycler in Lewiston. Nichols said ReEnergy’s figures suggest that 90 percent or more of its waste actually was generated outside of Maine.

That means about one-quarter of the rapidly growing mound of waste at Juniper Ridge likely comes from outside the state, Nichols said.

Much of that waste comes from Massachusetts, according to figures in ReEnergy’s 2019 annual report. It said the facility sent 176,700 tons of mixed construction debris to Juniper Ridge in 2019 that originally came from Massachusetts, and 37,044 tons from New Hampshire. Maine-sourced debris was far behind those two states, with less than 22,000 tons coming from in-state.

Massachusetts has banned the dumping of construction and demolition debris at landfills in that state, and in the search for places to dispose of the material, Maine has become a convenient destination, those backing the change in regulations say.

The numbers for out-of-state waste going to Juniper Ridge show how much the state’s ban on out-of-state waste has been weakened and abused, said Hilary Lister, the lead signer on the petition sent to the DEP.

She said the biggest concern over the material being dumped at Juniper Ridge is construction and demolition debris and, to a lesser extent, some medical waste. Lister said she thinks the DEP’s board should take action, rather than make those pushing for changes wait for the Legislature to act in 2021.

Spencer said he agrees and worries that Casella Waste’s lobbyists might succeed in watering down any changes to the regulations. He said the company has a strong incentive to continue accepting out-of-state waste to increase the fees it earns from operating the landfill.

END

 

Big Waste now seeks expansion of “Special Waste” landfill in Maine. Public hearing on Oct 1st

Maine at another Waste Crossroad? Big Waste to seek OK from MDEP on Thursday Oct 1st to expand its “Special Waste” landfill by 57 acres. This will allow for dumping additional out of state “special wastes” in Norridgewock Maine. Leachate goes into Kennebec River!

Want to put your two cents in? Attend DEP’s virtual public hearing! It starts 6pm Thursday Oct 1st How: Contact DEP before 1pm Wednesday Sept 30th – that’s tomorrow! Let Ruth Ann Burke know you wish to speak virtually at the meeting. ruth.a.burke@maine.gov or phone 207-287-2811

MEETING AGENDA:  http://penbay.org/…/specwaste_%20hrng_092120_agenda_final.p…

BACKGROUND Special Waste was formerly termed “hazardous waste” (Doesn’t special waste” sound so much .. cleaner!) It includes incinerator ash, sludge, oil and solvent contaminated soils, asbestos, dredge spoils, coal ashes, coal gasification wastewater, medical waste and a variety of industrial process wastes from lead processing, bauxite refining, fertilizer production, acid production, and wastes from many other refining processes.

AT ISSUE: To approve a landfill expansion, MDEP must find that the facility
(1) will provide substantial “public benefit”, and
(2) will NOT pollute any water of the State, contaminate the ambient air, create a nuisance, or constitute a hazard to health or welfare

The DEP asks that Public Hearing comments be limited to the following areas relating to licensing criteria:

Visibility of the Landfill Fitting the Solid Waste Facility Harmoniously into the Natural Environment. No Unreasonable Adverse Effect on Existing Uses and Scenic Character

Noise Effect on Existing Uses and Scenic Character

Odors No Unreasonable Adverse Effect on Air Quality

Ground Water Aquifer Protection No Unreasonable Risk That a Discharge to a Significant Ground Water Aquifer Will Occur.

Solid Waste Management Hierarchy

Recycling and source reduction determination

QUESTIONS:
* What can be the public benefit to Maine of permanently storing other state’s “special” wastes in Maine?

* How much of which special wastes noted above does the state believe will be brought here? Shockingly, the application doesn’t say! Isn’t there a difference between, for example, medical waste and lead refining waste?

* How can storing unknown amounts of specified and unspecified wastes for thousands of years NOT risk polluting our waters and those of our descendants and the descendants of today’s fish and wildlife? How can it not pose a health hazard to them as well?

* Shouldn’t we look ahead 7 generations? How the future will despise us if we keep mounding up the wastes of other states here for permanent waste storage?

What could possibly go wrong? Isn’t Maine an official American Dump State?

No? Then why do state officials act as if we are?

On October 1st press this issue. Save Future Maine!

 
 

VIDEO: Juniper Ridge Landfill Megadump: Part 1

VIDEO: Juniper Ridge Landfill Megadump: Part 1

From the Sunlight Media Collective:

Juniper Ridge Landfill Megadump: Part 1 See how Maine has become the designated waste dump state for the Northeast United States – and how the people have risen to put an end to this unholy practice, at the state-owned Juniper Ridge Landfill waste mound in Old Town.

Watch & Learn. Then take action right away: deadline Monday September 28 5pm : Send comments on the “Petition to Modify Maine’s Solid Waste Management Rules” by email to paula.m.clark@maine.gov and ruth.a.burke@maine.gov (include in Subject “Chapter 400 Rule Petition Comments”)

 
 

Maine BEP hears from Landfill reform advocates and anti-reform advocates

On September 17,2020, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection held its hearing on NGO Don’t Waste Maine’s petition to end importation of construction & demolition waste from other states. Listen below to links to the speakers at the hearing – both those who testified and those who listened and asked questions

The meeting started at 10am, when the Board first reviewed a number of other agenda items including the status of hazardous waste storage at the Portsmouth Naval shipyard and, what point the BEP’s review of Nordic Aquafarms land based salmon facility is at. But we’ll focus on the controversy over Maine’s importation of out of state waste and reasons for ending it.

Speakers at 9/17/20 Maine BEP Hearing on citizen initiated rule changes to DEP Rules Chapter 400.

BEP meeting’s other issues before CH 400 hearing 47min

0 CH 400 Opening introduction 8min15sec

  1. Hillary Lister of Don’t Waste Me + Q&A 19min_

2. Ed Spencer, Don’t Waste Me 22min33sec

3. Paul Clark Maine DEP 13min 4seconds

4 Brian Rayback, Pierce Atwood 7min44sec

5 Bill Lippincott 9min20sec

6. Dana Colihan_5min7sec

7 Greg Leahy Reenergy Lewiston13min35sec

8. Rhonda Forester , Sevee and Mahan 9min25sec

9. Kat Taylor 6min31sec

END OF MORNING SESSION

Part 2

10 Intro 43seconds

11. Charles Eaton Me Logistics Solutions trucking) 2min 5sec

12. Sarah Nichols NRCM & QA 10min 33sec

13. Kirstie_Pecci CLF & QA 15min

14.Peter Crockett DWM 7min11sec

15. Barry Staples 3min 44sec

16. Abigail Bradford 3min55sec

17. Mark St Germaine & QA 10min2sec

18. TJ Troiano waste trucking 9min5sec

19 Antonio Blasi Hancock Cty Commissioner 44sec

20. Ben Worcester SW Harbor 4min 4sec to hearing end

 
 

Maine Board Of Environmental Protection to Consider Environmental Justice and Importation of Out of State Waste at Public Hearing on Thursday

From: Sunlight Media Collective, September 2020
     
What is the definition of “out-of state” waste vs “Maine-generated” waste?
Will private waste companies be able to continue to exploit a loophole
allowing them to import trash for profit, despite it being illegal to dispose
of out-of-state waste in Maine owned landfills? Will local communities
negatively impacted by state licensed landfills finally receive legal equal
protection? Will Maine now consider environmental justice impacts
when citing waste facilities, as other states do? These are the outstanding
issues front and center regarding the waste disposal system in Maine.

  On Thursday, September 17, at 10am, the Maine Board of
Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing to consider
exactly these questions in a citizen proposed “Petition to Modify
Maine’s Solid Waste Management Rules.” Written comments are
accepted until September 28th.

(Information at end of this update on how to testify at or view the
hearing via Zoom and how to submit written comments)     

Over the years, the lack of definitions and protections in Maine’s solid
waste management rules have made local communities increasingly
vulnerable to the possibilities of groundwater and river pollution,
including those surrounding the state owned Juniper Ridge Landfill in
Old Town. Waste leachate from the landfill is dumped into the Penobscot
River just below the Penobscot Indian Nation, who have restrictive fish
consumption advisories for Tribal members. This while recent dam
removals on the River have dramatically increased the number of sea
run species.     

Community members across Maine have tried repeatedly to show that
state waste rules are not protective of environmental and human health
, curtail the public’s participation and the consideration of impacts on
affected communities, and have not only allowed, but encouraged a
proliferation of out-of-state waste into Maine, resulting in a growing for
-profit business using Maine’s publicly owned landfills, and taking
advantage of renewable energy credits.      

Concurrently, other surrounding states have increased restrictions on the
burning and land filling of trash, including toxic Construction and
Demolition Debris (CDD), increasing the profitability for businesses
importing trash into Maine for incineration and land filling. A 2018
regulation change has made way for a 33% increase in the amount of
arsenic -treated CDD used as fuel in Maine’s biomass boilers, who then
receive Class 1 Renewable Energy Credits.     

Citizen efforts for reform have continually been successfully opposed in
Maine’s legislature by the waste industry’s powerful lobby.      

The Juniper Ridge Landfill (JRL) in Old Town is owned by the state of
Maine, but operated privately by Casella Waste Systems. It was recently
approved for a 54 acre expansion, doubling it’s size. Currently, at least
210 tons of out of state CDD is dumped at JRL. An estimated many tens
of thousands more tons of other forms of out of state waste, including
sludge, also are land filled at JRL.     

Legally, publicly owned landfills can not take out-of-state waste, but for
years, the waste industry has side stepped this with a loop hole that
allows for waste from outside the state to be minimally processed once
imported and then re-classified as “in-state” waste. This can be done
through a number of ways including recycle processing or incineration,
or by being used as a “alternative daily cover” on landfills.     

Juniper Ridge Landfill (JRL) has raised the ire and scrutiny of local landfill
opponents and community members for nearly two decades. It is situated
between Pushaw Stream and Birch Stream in the Penobscot River
Watershed. Communities directly endangered include Old Town, Alton,
Argyle, and the Penobscot Nation located directly downstream from the
landfill and directly upstream from where leachate is being dumped into
the river.     

Leachate, the liquid landfill refuse, is transported from the Juniper Ridge
Landfill for waste water processing at the recently re-opened Old Town
paper mill, now owned by Nine Dragons Paper. The effluent is then
discharged into the Penobscot River in a process reportedly less rigorous
then municipal waste water plants. Currently the company self reports
the chemical contents of the discharges

Area residents, including the Penobscot Nation, have underscored the
lack of water quality testing of the effluent that is piped into the Penobscot
River. In 2012, a roll back of regulation increased the allowable limits for
arsenic and decreases testing requirements for mercury. Landfill leachate
is not treated for arsenic, PFAS/PFOS, and a number of other chemicals.
In 2016, numbers show Juniper Ridge Landfill producing ten million
gallons of leachate a year. With the landfill expansion those numbers will go up.     

The “Petition to Modify Maine’s Solid Waste Management Rules,” that will
be discussed at the September 17 hearing, was created with direct input
from those most affected by the State’s current dumping practices.  It is
considered the best proposed solution to curbing the environmental
injustice that has been allowed to occur for far too long.     

Hillary Lister is longtime community organizer and public educator
on Maine waste issues. We share her clear and informative written
testimony here. She details the history out of state waste policies in
Maine, the disparity with surrounding state policies, the health and
environmental impacts of leachate contamination on communities,
including the Penobscot Nation, and efforts to have environmental
justice considered when determining “public benefit” when waste
facilities are cited or expanded in Maine.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XVWpurMnZDapF5QrAuGLwbhtPCJN633j9S5x8fZZ61s/edit?usp=sharing

Information on hearing, how to view, testify and submit written
comments:
 Public Hearing: Thursday, September 17, 2020, 10:00 AM
 Public hearing on the citizen petition to initiate rule making to amend
the Chapter 400: Maine Solid Waste Management Rules. 

The petition calls on the DEP to: “clarify requirements for Public Benefit
Determinations relating to approval of waste facilities, by ensuring that
the definition of “waste that is generated within the State” accurately
describes the sources of waste materials disposed in the State, and by
requiring Public Benefit Determinations to include consideration of the
impacts on health and welfare, environmental justice and equal
protections for communities where waste facilities operate.”

 The Department is requesting that anyone interested in testifying at the
hearing add their name to a testimony signup list prior to the start of the
hearing by emailing their name by close of business on Monday,
September 14th to ruth.a.burke@maine.gov

 Written comments on the rule change petition can be emailed to 
paula.m.clark@maine.gov and ruth.a.burke@maine.gov (include in
Subject line “Ch 400 Rule Petition Comments)Written comments are due
by 5pm on September 28, 2020.

Even if you don’t plan to testify at the hearing, you can watch the meeting
via Zoom .Join Zoom Meeting:
https://zoom.us/j/6928501126?pwd=blBEMDBlUTFKb3ZIbFN0NFVEaTl0dz09
Meeting ID: 692 850 1126
Passcode: 4gWhZz

 Dial In:877-853-5247
Meeting ID: 692 850 1126
Passcode: 110856

If having trouble calling in, please contact Ruth Ann Burke at
 ruth.a.burke@maine.gov 
BEP Meeting Agenda and more info available here: 
https://www.maine.gov/dep/rules/index.html 
Comments sent to DEP on Chapter 400 Rule Petition can be found here: https://www.maine.gov/dep/ftp/projects/ch400/comments2020-09-10/

L