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Hearing delay. Proposed Rule change limiting Maine landfills to only “waste that is generated within the State” has its public hearing delayed indefinitely

Maine Board of Environmental Protection has ” indefinitely postponed” its planned April 16th public hearing on a petition by Don’t Waste Maine to add three new definitions to state waste rules.

The rules change would add three new definitions to Chapter 400
* “Waste that is generated within the State”
* “Equal Protection,”
* “Environmental Justice”

Why? When construction and demolition debris waste is trucked into Maine from New York City, Hartford, Boston and other metropolitan areas arrives, the best selling bits are scavenged out, then the rest is magically redefined as “Maine waste” and gets taken to a state landfill. The health and safety of the communities around the landfill site are rarely taken into serious consideration

Read the petition HERE

ABOUT THE DEFINITIONS
(1) “Waste that is generated within the State” means waste materials for which the original point of discard is located within the State of Maine.”

(By comparison, the existing rule’s definition of “waste that is generated within the State” includes “…waste whether generated within the State or outside of the State used for daily cover, frost protection or stability in accordance with all applicable rules and licenses;…”)

The existing wording is a very dubious triple decker loophole that lets the wastes pour in: they are only importing megatons of mixed construction and demolition waste to make us _safer_.
1. “Daily cover” is just the last layer of waste dumped then dozered to cover the other waste.
2. Frost protection: no frostbitten rats.
3. “Stability”? How nice: making it bigger and bigger makes the waste mounds stabler and stabler. How much of Old Town can they take up to make these things really really stable?

Two other important definitions will be added by Don’t Waste Maine’s petition.

(2) “Equal Protection,” means protection of all groups of people, regardless of ancestry, class, disability, ethnicity, income, national origin, or religion, from an unfair burden of environmental hazards resulting from waste facility operations.

(3) “Environmental Justice” means the right to be protected from environmental pollution and to live in and enjoy a clean and healthful environment regardless of ancestry, class, disability, ethnicity, income, national origin, or religion.”

The new rule goes on to say “Environmental justice shall include the equal protection and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of waste management laws, regulations, and licensing decisions”

Read the petition here: https://tinyurl.com/me-waste-petition

We’ll keep you posted as circumstances change.

 

PFAS Interagency Report to Maine legislature 2/6/20. Audio Part 4 Michael Abbott head of Maine Drinking Water Program, 14min 23 sec, incl Q&A

On February 6, 2020 the Maine Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee heard from a Michael Abbott of the Maine Drinking Water Program. Listen to Abbott’s PFAS report to Maine Legislature 2/6/20 Pt6 Michael Abbott Drinking Water Prog incl & qa 24min33sec
Abbott is part of a multiagency/stakeholder task force on the historic and current threats to groundwater and to human health from the use of the PFOS/PFAS set of chemicals, and their and their release into the environment in “biosolids” aka sewage sludge.

 
 

PFAS Interagency Report to Maine legislature 2/6/20. Audio. Part 3 Nancy McBrady ME Bureau of Agriculture. 7min

PFAS Interagency Report to Maine legislature 2/6/20. Audio. Pt3
Nancy McBrady Maine Bureau of Agriculture 7min

 
 

PFAS Interagency Report to Maine legislature 2/6/20. Audio. Pt2 Andy Smith ME State Toxicologist (18min) & QA (32min)

On February 6m 2020 Andrew Smith State Toxicologist, ME Ctr for Disease Control gave an 18 minute presentation to the 25 minutes the Maine Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee , followed by a 32 minute Q&A session with the the legislators.
Andy mith presentation 13min **** Andy Smith Q&A 32min

Smith is on a multiagency/stakeholder task force on the historic and current threats to groundwater and to human health from the use of the PFOS/PFAS set of chemicals, and their and their release into the environment in “biosolids” aka sewage sludge used for decades as fertilizer in many Maine farm fields.

 
 

PFAS Interagency Report to Maine legislature 2/6/20. Audio. Pt1 DEP Commissioner Reid. 25 minutes & Q&A 18 minutes.

On February 6, 2020 the Maine Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee heard from a multiagency/stakeholder task force on the historic and current threats to groundwater and to human health from the use of the PFOS/PFAS set of chemicals, and their and their release into the environment in “biosolids” aka sewage sludge used for decades as fertilizer in many Maine farm fields. LISTEN to DEP Commissioner Gerald Reid’s 25 minute presentation and 18minute Q&A at the 2 links.
2/6/20 Interagency PFAS Report Pt1 DEP Commissioner Gerald Reid presentation 25min.mp3 …. Commissioner Reid Q&A 18min

 
 

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About LD 401

LD 401, An Act To Preserve State Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling, will be voted on by Maine legislators  Wednesday February 5th.  Read more about the  proposed amendment

Starting at 10am, the Environment and Natural Resources Committee of Maine’s legislature will hold work sessions to discuss and vote on amendments to waste policy bills, including LD 401. Live audio of the meeting will be available here: https://legislature.maine.gov/committee/#Committees/ENR

LD 401 proposes to update State law to:       

1. Ensure there is accurate tracking and record keeping identifying the origin, amounts and types of
materials disposed in waste facilities in the State;

2. Ensure waste is effectively tracked from generation point through processing to final disposal point,
including the following types of facilities and disposal sites where tracking is required: landfills;
landfill leachate discharge sites; incinerator ash and slag disposal sites; and biosolids disposal sites;

3. Ensure that waste materials imported from outside the State that are processed at facilities in the
State are not classified as Maine-generated waste;

4. Ensure that waste materials that end up in a landfill, such as construction and demolition debris,
which are used for daily cover in a landfill, are not counted toward the State’s recycling goals;

5. Ensure adequate legal standing and strengthen protections for the health and well-being of people
living in close proximity to waste disposal facilities;

6. Strengthen conflict-of-interest protections in awarding and management and oversight of state waste contracts to prevent price fixing and market manipulation.

Read the proposed bill here: https://mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_129th/billtexts/HP031001.asp

Read the  proposed amendment to LD401 

On Wednesday, February 5th, starting at 10am, the Environment and Natural Resources Committee of Maine’s legislature will hold work sessions to discuss and vote on amendments to waste policy bills, including LD 401. Live audio of the meeting will be available here: https://legislature.maine.gov/committee/#Committees/ENR

 
 

Maine PFAS pollutant task force reports to legislature’ s ENR Comm Feb 6th 1pm

The Environment & Natural Resources Committee will hold a meeting on the
Maine PFAS Task Force report starting at 1:00 pm on Thursday, February 6th.

Prior to the Public Comment, members of the Governor’s PFAS Task Force, including Jeff McBurnie, director of permitting and regulatory affairs at Casella Organics, will provide input on the task force report’s recommendations. McBurnie has played a key role in making sure that Casella’s Earthlife Compost products were exempt from State PFAS restrictions implemented in 2019. [Link to pfascasella.pdf]

The PFAS Task Force report states that, “Municipalities spent hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they had budgeted for in 2019 to test for PFAS and to send wastewater
sludge to landfills instead of using it as a soil amendment.”

As landfills in Maine become the disposal sites for increasing quantities of PFAS
contaminated sludge from across the northeast, the amount of leachate containing PFAS is
also likely to increase. Landfill leachate is currently being discharged through wastewater
facilities into the Penobscot, Sebasticook, and Kennebec Rivers.

While neighboring states take action to track and control PFAS-containing landfill leachate,
the State of Maine has no requirements to treat or test for PFAS compounds prior to
discharge of leachate into waterways. As a result, neighboring state’s landfill leachate is being
exported to Maine for disposal.
http://penbay.org/waste/landfills/PFASKennebecMerrimack.pdf

The task force report focuses on unlined landfills as a major source of PFAS contamination,
but fails to look at impacts of PFAS-containing leachate generated in lined landfills that are
taking sludge.

It will be important that committee members to understand the importance of including
provisions in legislation relating to implementing the task force report to address the tracking,
testing, treatment, disposal, and environmental impacts of PFAS-contaminated landfill
leachate.   http://penbay.org/waste/landfills/PFASLandfillsarticles.pdf