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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Waste Laws Under Consideration by Maine Legislators

All Waste Bills are being handled by the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, unless otherwise indicated.

If you can’t attend a Public Hearing, written testimony can be sent to the Clerk of the Committee. If you live in a town represented by a Committee member, you can call or email your Representative or Senator as their constituent and let them know your opinion of the bill.

ENR Committee Members & Contacts at: https://dontwasteme.wordpress.com/contact-members-of-the-committee-on-environment-natural-resources/

Contact your State Representative: https://dontwasteme.wordpress.com/contact-your-representatives/

Legislators pay attention to Letters to the Editor – Contacts for your local media outlet at: https://dontwasteme.wordpress.com/maine-media-contact-send-letters-to-the-editor/

Waste Bills Being Considered by the 126th Maine Legislature

*LD 1363

An Act to Preserve Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling

Sponsored by Rep. Chipman

CoSponsored by: Representative CAMPBELL of Orrington; Representative DORNEY of Norridgewock; Senator GRATWICK of Penobscot; Representative GUERIN of Glenburn; Representative LIBBY of Lewiston; Representative MITCHELL of the Penobscot Nation; Senator PATRICK of Oxford; Representative PEAVEY HASKELL of Milford; Senator WHITTEMORE of Somerset

Bill text: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/HP097101.asp

Public Hearing Testimony: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?PID=1456&snum=126&paper=&paperld=l&ld=1363#

Summary: This bill amends the definition of waste generated in the State by providing that residue and bypass must have been generated from waste that originated in the State to be considered waste generated in the State.

The bill also allows municipalities to enact ordinances with respect to solid waste facilities that contain standards that are stricter than state law.

The bill also imposes a one-year moratorium on the issuance of licenses for expanded landfills. It directs the Department of Environmental Protection to study and identify best practices to reduce the amount of solid waste disposed in landfills, increase recycling of solid waste and generate revenue from recycling for municipalities. The department is required to report its findings to the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

Status: Status: Work Session scheduled for Thursday, May 2, 2013 2:30 PM, Cross Building, Room 216

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* LD 1483

An Act To Promote and Enhance State Policy To Preserve and Support Existing Methods of Disposal of Municipal Solid Waste

Sponsored By: Senator CAIN of Penobscot

Cosponsored By: Representative CAMPBELL of Orrington; Speaker EVES of North Berwick;Senator GRATWICK of Penobscot; Representative STANLEY of Medway

Bill text: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/SP054501.asp

Summary:

The purpose of this bill is to assist in the stabilization of the statutorily established solid waste management hierarchy, to promote and strengthen the waste management system in the State and to enhance the continued operation of the existing waste processing incineration facilities located in the State. This bill directs the Department of Environmental Protection to:

1. Impose on each licensed landfill a solid waste stabilization assessment on all solid waste, including, but not limited to, household and commercially sourced solid waste and all other material deposited at the licensed landfill;

2. Deposit solid waste stabilization assessment funds in a solid waste stabilization account within the Maine Solid Waste Management Fund;

3. Disburse the funds from the solid waste stabilization account through periodic payments to qualified municipalities and recycling and composting programs located in the State; and

4. Develop a process to maximize the use of existing incineration facilities in the State and increase the amount of Maine-sourced solid waste that is processed at those facilities annually and report its recommendations to the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology by January 1, 2014.

Status: No Public Hearing scheduled yet.

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* LD 907

An Act To Encourage Recycling

Sponsored By: Representative STANLEY of Medway

Cosponsored By: Senator JACKSON of Aroostook

Bill text: http://mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/HP063101.asp

Public Hearing Testimony: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=907&PID=1456&snum=126#

Summary: This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208.

This bill proposes to impose a fee of $15 per ton on the disposal of solid waste at solid waste disposal facilities and solid waste processing facilities. The fee is also imposed on the movement of solid waste from one solid waste facility to another solid waste facility. Under the bill, no category of solid waste may be exempted from the fee and the fee must be paid to the State. Revenue from the fee must be distributed as follows.

1. The first priority must be given to providing grants to municipalities for costs related to the fee:

A. For recyclable materials, a municipality may receive grants equal to 1.3 times the fee paid by the municipality for disposal of the recyclable materials;

B. For all other materials, a municipality may receive grants equal to the fee paid by the municipality for disposal of the materials; and

C. The total grants awarded to municipalities may not exceed the total revenue collected from the $15 per ton fee.

2. Revenue in excess of municipal grants must be distributed to school districts. The amount distributed to each school district must be computed by dividing the revenue from the fee in excess of grants to municipalities by the total number of students in prekindergarten to 12th grade in the State and multiplying the quotient by the number of students in the school district.

Status: Work Session scheduled for Thursday, May 2, 2013 2:30 PM, Cross Building, Room 216

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* LD 1292

An Act To Minimize the Use of Plastic Bags

Sponsored By: Representative McGOWAN of York

Cosponsored By: Representative BEAVERS of South Berwick; Representative CASSIDY of Lubec; Representative DEVIN of Newcastle; Representative EVANGELOS of Friendship; Representative HARLOW of Portland; Senator JOHNSON of Lincoln; Representative NOON of Sanford; Representative WELSH of Rockport

Public Hearing Testimony: http://mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?paper=HP0919&snum=126&PID=1456#

Bill Text: http://mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/HP091901.asp

Summary: This bill requires a retailer to assess a 10¢ surcharge for a plastic bag designed for one-time use distributed to a customer at the point of retail sale. A retailer retains 2¢ from the surcharge for administrative costs. The revenues from the plastic bag surcharge are credited to the Plastics Recycling Fund administered by the Department of Environmental Protection for the purpose of promoting recycling efforts related to plastics. A retailer may provide recyclable paper bags to bag products at the point of sale. A retailer must provide reusable bags for purchase by a customer.

Status: Work Session scheduled for Thursday, May 2, 2013 2:30 PM, Cross Building, Room 216

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* LD 694

An Act To Clarify Solid Waste Policy

Sponsored By: Senator CAIN of Penobscot

Cosponsored By: Senator BOYLE of Cumberland; Representative DILL of Old Town; Senator GRATWICK of Penobscot; Representative PEAVEY HASKELL of Milford; Representative TIPPING-SPITZ of Orono; Senator YOUNGBLOOD of Penobscot

Original Bill text (before amendment): http://mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/SP024301.asp

Summary:

The original unamended bill:

1. Amends the declaration of policy in the laws governing waste management to provide that the Legislature finds that the highest and best use of a state-owned solid waste facility is for those permitted special wastes that cannot be handled by waste reduction, reuse and recycling, which are the preferred methods of waste management; and

2. Provides that a change in the type or volume of waste accepted by a facility requires approval by the Department of Environmental Protection and a public benefit determination.

Status: April 26th work session ENR Committee voted Ought To Pass as Amended. No amended language available yet.

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* LD 141

Resolve, Directing the Department of Environmental Protection To Develop Quantitative Odor Management Standards

Sponsored By: Representative FREDETTE of Newport

Cosponsored By: Senator CUSHING of Penobscot

Public Hearing Testimony: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=141&PID=1456&snum=126&sec3

Bill Text: http://mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/HP011601.asp

Summary: This bill would create quanitative measurements for odor from septage & wastewater sludge facilities. The bill was submitted in response to major odor problems resulting from septage spraying and lagoon management at the NY owned “We Care Organics/Soil Prepraration Inc” septage and sludge processing facility in Plymouth (that is somehow exempt from paying property taxes.

Status: April 3rd Work Session ENR Committee vote resulted in a Divided Report.

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* LD 476

Resolve, Directing the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry To Develop a Policy To Reduce Food Waste in All State-funded Institutions

Sponsored By: Representative HICKMAN of Winthrop Cosponsored By: Representative EVANGELOS of Friendship; Representative GRAHAM of North Yarmouth; Representative GUERIN of Glenburn; Representative JORGENSEN of Portland; Representative KUMIEGA of Deer Isle; Representative POULIOT of Augusta; Senator WHITTEMORE of Somerset; Representative WILSON of Augusta

Public Hearing Testimony: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=476&PID=1456&snum=126&sec3

Bill Text: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/HP032601.asp

Summary: This resolve requires the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the Commissioner of Environmental Protection to develop a comprehensive policy to reduce food waste in all state-funded buildings and institutions and to submit a report detailing the policy, together with any recommendations, to the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry by December 4, 2013.

Status: April 3rd work session Ag Committee voted Ought Not To Pass.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Current Events

 

Work Sessions on Waste Legislation Thursday, May 2

Work Sessions

Thursday, May 2, 2013 2:30 PM

Cross Building, Room 216, Augusta

Written testimony that was submitted at the Public Hearing on LD 1363, the bill to define Maine waste as waste genereated in Maine, and restore local control, can be seen at: http://mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?paper=HP0971&snum=126&PID=1456#

Between now and Thursday’s work session it will be important to communicate with committee members, address concerns, and compile source materials for the work session. Contact information for Commitee Members available at: https://dontwasteme.wordpress.com/contact-members-of-the-committee-on-environment-natural-resources/

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LD 1363

An Act to Preserve Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling

Sponsored by Rep. Chipman

CoSponsored by: Representative CAMPBELL of Orrington; Representative DORNEY of Norridgewock; Senator GRATWICK of Penobscot; Representative GUERIN of Glenburn; Representative LIBBY of Lewiston; Representative MITCHELL of the Penobscot Nation; Senator PATRICK of Oxford; Representative PEAVEY HASKELL of Milford; Senator WHITTEMORE of Somerset

Bill text: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/HP097101.asp

Public Hearing Testimony: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?PID=1456&snum=126&paper=&paperld=l&ld=1363#

Summary: This bill amends the definition of waste generated in the State by providing that residue and bypass must have been generated from waste that originated in the State to be considered waste generated in the State.

The bill also allows municipalities to enact ordinances with respect to solid waste facilities that contain standards that are stricter than state law.

The bill also imposes a one-year moratorium on the issuance of licenses for expanded landfills. It directs the Department of Environmental Protection to study and identify best practices to reduce the amount of solid waste disposed in landfills, increase recycling of solid waste and generate revenue from recycling for municipalities. The department is required to report its findings to the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

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* LD 907

An Act To Encourage Recycling

Sponsored By: Representative STANLEY of Medway

Cosponsored By: Senator JACKSON of Aroostook

Bill text: http://mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/HP063101.asp 

Public Hearing Testimony: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=907&PID=1456&snum=126# 

Summary:

This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208.

This bill proposes to impose a fee of $15 per ton on the disposal of solid waste at solid waste disposal facilities and solid waste processing facilities. The fee is also imposed on the movement of solid waste from one solid waste facility to another solid waste facility. Under the bill, no category of solid waste may be exempted from the fee and the fee must be paid to the State. Revenue from the fee must be distributed as follows.

1. The first priority must be given to providing grants to municipalities for costs related to the fee:

A. For recyclable materials, a municipality may receive grants equal to 1.3 times the fee paid by the municipality for disposal of the recyclable materials;

B. For all other materials, a municipality may receive grants equal to the fee paid by the municipality for disposal of the materials; and

C. The total grants awarded to municipalities may not exceed the total revenue collected from the $15 per ton fee.

2. Revenue in excess of municipal grants must be distributed to school districts. The amount distributed to each school district must be computed by dividing the revenue from the fee in excess of grants to municipalities by the total number of students in prekindergarten to 12th grade in the State and multiplying the quotient by the number of students in the school district.

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* LD 1292

An Act To Minimize the Use of Plastic Bags

Sponsored By: Representative McGOWAN of York

Cosponsored By: Representative BEAVERS of South Berwick; Representative CASSIDY of Lubec; Representative DEVIN of Newcastle; Representative EVANGELOS of Friendship; Representative HARLOW of Portland; Senator JOHNSON of Lincoln; Representative NOON of Sanford; Representative WELSH of Rockport

Bill Text: http://mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/HP091901.asp

Public Hearing Testimony: http://mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?paper=HP0919&snum=126&PID=1456# 

Summary: This bill requires a retailer to assess a 10¢ surcharge for a plastic bag designed for one-time use distributed to a customer at the point of retail sale. A retailer retains 2¢ from the surcharge for administrative costs. The revenues from the plastic bag surcharge are credited to the Plastics Recycling Fund administered by the Department of Environmental Protection for the purpose of promoting recycling efforts related to plastics. A retailer may provide recyclable paper bags to bag products at the point of sale. A retailer must provide reusable bags for purchase by a customer.

 

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Current Events

 

PUBLIC HEARING ON LOCAL CONTROL & OUT-OF-STATE WASTE

MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

Starting at 1:00pm before the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources,

Room 216, Cross Building, Augusta.

LD1363

An Act To Ensure Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling

What the bill would do:

1. Define Maine waste as waste generated in Maine.

2. Require the State to provide information on the source & amount of out-of-state waste dumped in Maine before permitting expansion of landfills.

3. Return Home Rule authority over waste facilities to Maine towns.

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BACKGROUND

In 1989, the Norridgewock landfill collapsed after being overfilled with tons of out-of-state waste.

The dump doubled in size from 12 to 24 acres, poisoning area wells and farmland.

Following the dump collapse, the Maine legislature passed a law that was supposed to prevent more pollution from landfills, encourage recycling, and control the flow of out-of-state waste to Maine.

The law required the closing of small town dumps, and the creation of large, regional landfills.

One of Governor Baldacci’s first acts in office was to create the State-owned JRL regional dump in Old Town.

The contract to operate the JRL dump went to one of the Governor’s biggest donors, Casella Waste Systems.

No Public Hearing was held on the plan.

Promoters promised the dump would accept only Maine waste.

Soon after JRL was approved, Casella successfully lobbied to change the definition of Maine waste.

Maine waste” was redefined to include out-of-state waste

processed” in Maine before being dumped in a landfill.

Casella owns most of the waste processing facilities in the state.

RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS

In 2008, the legislature approved a bill defining landfill gas as “Renewable Energy.”

Ratepayers are now paying a premium to subsidize out-of-state waste imported and dumped in Maine.

HOME RULE

Waste industry lobbyists also succeeded in changing Maine’s law governing Home Rule.

Maine is now one of the only states in the northeast where towns have no home rule authority to control waste facilities in their borders.

The bill has strong bipartisan support from legislators across Maine whose communities host waste operations that are importing out-of-state waste.

Sponsored By: Representative CHIPMAN of Portland

Cosponsored By: Representative CAMPBELL of Orrington; Representative DORNEY of Norridgewock; Senator GRATWICK of Penobscot; Representative GUERIN of Glenburn; Representative LIBBY of Lewiston; Representative MITCHELL of the Penobscot Nation; Senator PATRICK of Oxford; Representative PEAVEY HASKELL of Milford; Senator WHITTEMORE of Somerset

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Read the bill at: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_126th/billtexts/HP097101.asp

If you can’t attend the Public Hearing you can still help by sending written testimony to:  katie.desfosses@legislature.maine.gov

You can also contact members of the ENR Committee and tell them your thoughts on the bill, especially if a member represents a town where you live or own property.

Contact Members of the Environment & Natural Resources Committee

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Current Events

 

Public Hearing on JRL Dump Tuesday, April 9th

The Maine DEP will be holding a Public Hearing on plans by Casella Waste to import municipal solid waste, that was previously burned in the MERC incinerator, north to be disposed of in the State-owned JRL dump in Old Town.

The Department will hear from Intervenors during the day on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Members of the Public will be allowed to speak on Tuesday starting at 6:30pm.

The hearing will take place at the Governor Hill Mansion, 136 State St. in Augusta.

Written comments can be sent to: Michael Parker, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, 17 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0017 or michael.t.parker@maine.gov.

More information on the hearing at: http://www.maine.gov/dep/waste/juniperridge/documents/Fourth%20Procedural%20Order.pdf

DEP JRL Info site: http://www.maine.gov/dep/waste/juniperridge/

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2013 in Current Events