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.



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. or phone 207-287-2811

MEETING AGENDA:…/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

* 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 and (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


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.

Information on hearing, how to view, testify and submit written
 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

 Written comments on the rule change petition can be emailed to and (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:
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 
BEP Meeting Agenda and more info available here: 
Comments sent to DEP on Chapter 400 Rule Petition can be found here:



Add your voice to Maine landfill reform on Sept 17th

At their Sept 17th meeting Maine Board of Environmental Protection members will consider a petition requesting state environmental rules change to limit all future Maine landfill space to Maine-originated waste. Your email and or participation as a zoom speaker on the 17th can make a big difference in their decisionmaking.

Here’s how to email BEP


(this goes to : Ruth Burke BEP Administrative Assistant <>, which is what her return email will be from.

Subject Chapter 400 BEP hearing 9/17/20 Add me to signup list

Dear BEP
I plan on speaking by zoom at the public hearing on September 17th regarding the Petition to Amend Chapter 400 of the Maine Solid Waste Management Rules. Please sign me up to the speakers & notifications list

Afilliation (if any)
Address or other info as desired.

BACKSTORY At Issue: Unlike all other North Atlantic states Maine presently accepts thousands of tons of crushed remains of demolished New York, Boston, Hartford and other cities’ and towns’ buildings – and the leftover debris of new construction projects every year, vastly reducing capacity for present and future Maine landfill needs. The Proposed change reserves present and future Maine landfills only to originally-discarded-in-Maine wastes.

The Petition also calls for Maine waste decisions to made only after consideration whether the requested decision provides Equal Environmental Justice for All.


On September 17th, help Maine put an end to the ongoing wasting of our state with megatons of out of state demolition and construction debris!

On Thursday, September 17, 2020, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection will hold a virtual public hearing on citizen-initiated state environmental rule changes that will put an end to the senseless current practice of importing and permanently stockpiling thousands of tons annually of greater New England’s and New York’s construction and demolition wastes – on YOUR public land! DETAILS OF RULE CHANGE CLICK HERE (Maine BEP webpage) (Scroll down to “Chapter 400: Maine Solid Waste Rules”)

WHAT’S NEW? The rule change would specifically:
1) Clarify the definition of Maine generated waste in order to control the disposal of out-of-state waste in Maine’s publicly-owned landfills, and
2) Provide standing, justice, and equal protection to people in communities who are directly impacted by the State’s landfill licensing and permitting decisions.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Send an email to Maine BEP expressing your support for these changes (detailed below) to Maine Board of Environmental Protection Send it to   On the subject line write “Comment on Chapter 400: Maine Solid Waste Rules”

DETAILS OF PROPOSED RULE CHANGES DEFINITIONS. The petition replaces the confusing definition of “Waste generated in the State,” as currently included in the rules governing Public Benefit Determination. The state’s current definition of “waste that is generated within the State” is “Residue and bypass generated by incineration, processing and recycling facilities within the State; 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; and waste generated within 30 miles of the solid waste disposal facility.”

The petition strikes that convoluted wording – which allows nearly anything to be dumped in Maine provided a few hoops are jumped through and replaces the definition of “Waste that is generated within the State” with “Waste materials for which the original point of discard is located within the State of Maine. “

The definition goes on to continue allowing the “residue and
bypass generated by incineration, processing and recycling facilities within the State to be landfilled BUT, “Only if the materials creating the residue and bypass had an original point of discard within the State of Maine.

Maine DEP will also have to show that Environmental Justice is being served by requiring proof that: “The facility operation is not inconsistent with protecting the health and welfare of local communities and is not inconsistent with ensuring equal protection and environmental justice for communities where the waste facility is proposed or operating.”

Finally the rule change requires “Equal Protection under the law ” when it comes to waste management decisions. This term’s definition is “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.

THAT’S IT! (1)Waste dumped in Maine must have been originally discarded IN Maine; (2) it must not harm the health and welfare of communities where it is being dumped or processed, and (3) DEP must protect all people in Maine, no matter what their race, class, disability, income, national origin or religion from the toxics and other pollutants by emanate from the state landfill.


Ed Spencer on stopping out of state commercial waste imports to Maine. Audio of his July 17th WRFR radio talk.

On July 17th, Ed Spencer of Don’t Waste Maine detailed the struggle to put an end to the importation of wastes from NYC Massachusetts and Connecticut into Maine for landfilling at the state landfill in Old Town,.



Advocacy group: Maine crisis in solid waste: Unsorted trash, garbage being sent to state owned landfill, against state policies. TV Coverage

Activists from Don’t Waste Maine spoke on the state’s garbage and trash crisis in Hampden Maine Media Coverage Here and Here and Here

Statement from Don’t Waste Maine

Trash Turmoil: A Crisis in Solid Waste 

The financing of Coastal Resources of Maine (CRM), which runs the Fiberight Waste Processing Facility in Hampden, has fallen through.

CRM has defaulted on its 1.5 million dollar loan to the Municipal Review Committee (MRC), a nonprofit group of 115 Maine cities and towns that have joined together to manage their municipal solid waste (MSW) issues. 

There was an emergency meeting of the MRC on June 5th –  mostly in executive session.

The Fiberight facility is closed down for the month of June, possibly for longer.

CRM’s Fiberight plant was supposed to be a state of the art facility to deal with the processing of Maine’s solid waste.  But  they’ve been unable to sell their three main products processed from waste: briquettes, pulp and bio-gas.  Until recently, these products failed to meet DEP standards. (None of these products meet the definition of recycling which is what Fiberight claimed it would excel in; they are all waste to energy products….. or: a waste of energy).

All 115 municipalities with contracts to send their waste to CRM are now dumping their waste at the state-owned  Juniper Ridge Landfill (JRL) in West Old Town or at the Crossroads Landfill in Norridgewock

This runs counter to the Governor’s Executive Order to dispose of waste in a more biologically safe way during the pandemic, and it runs counter to the statutory regulation to dispose of waste according to the solid waste hierarchy, with landfilling at the bottom of the hierarchy.  Sending the waste to PERC waste to energy plant in Orrington for incineration would more closely follow the EO and the solid waste hierarchy.

JRL recently raised its sludge tipping fee from $35 to $55 a ton, and it will go up again in January  another 3%.  As CRM and PERC struggle, Casella is increasing its hold on handling solid waste in our region, raising rates at our state owned (but Casella run) landfill

NOTE The MRC will be having a virtual town hall meeting open to the public on June 17, 2020, at 10:00 A.M, where questions can be asked about the Fiberight facility.

Zoom Virtual Town Hall Meeting You are invited to a Zoom webinar. When: Jun 17, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Topic: MRC Virtual Town Hall  Register in advance for this webinar:

Don’t Waste Maine is a coalition of people across Maine advocating for responsible policies that protect the health of communities most at risk from negative impacts of landfill, incinerator, leachate and sludge disposal operations.