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

16 Apr

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

 

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