Maine Dump Expansion Moratorium Becomes Law

17 Jun

LD 1363, “An Act To Ensure Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling” became law on June 11, 2013. The bill places a moratorium on landfill expansions until April 30, 2014.

The last time the legislature enacted a moratorium on dump expansion was 1987, following an investigation by the Attorney General’s office of anti-trust practices and problems resulting from major imports of out-of-state waste by landfill operators in Maine.

– Gives the legislature time to develop recommendations on needed waste policy.

– Allows time for the DEP to study Maine’s waste capacity needs.

– Ensures that there is enough long-term space for Maine’s waste needs.

– LD 1363 would not affect any pending permits.

Why It Is Needed:

The ENR Committee recently voted to create a subcommittee to study Maine’s policies relating to the state’s waste hierarchy, recycling and landfill capacity. The subcommittee will be looking at issues raised in legislation submitted this session relating to waste and recycling, and recommending legislation for the next session of the 126th Legislature.

Maine’s waste hierarchy, adopted by the legislature in 1989, places landfilling as the least preferable form of waste disposal, and prioritizes reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, waste-to-energy incineration, and only as a last resort, landfilling.

Time is needed to address changes affecting Maine’s waste hierarchy resulting from a series of policy changes that may be unwittingly creating incentives for disposing of materials in landfills that could easily be reused, recycled, composted or used in a waste-to-energy facility. This time-out allows the legislature and DEP needed time to get accurate information about the origin, quantity, and composition of waste being disposed in the state, to ensure that long term landfill space is available at an affordable price to Maine people and businesses.

LD 1363 is Sponsored By: Representative CHIPMAN of Portland
It is Cosponsored By:
Senator GRATWICK of Penobscot;
Senator PATRICK of Oxford;
Senator WHITTEMORE of Somerset
Representative CAMPBELL of Orrington;
Representative DORNEY of Norridgewock;
Representative GUERIN of Glenburn;
Representative LIBBY of Lewiston;
Representative MITCHELL of the Penobscot Nation;
Representative PEAVEY HASKELL of Milford

LD1363 reads:
Sec. 1. Moratorium on licenses to expand solid waste disposal facilities. Resolved: That the Department of Environmental Protection may not issue a license to expand a solid waste disposal facility that is a landfill until after April 30, 2014. This section applies to any application to expand a solid waste disposal facility that is a landfill filed after the effective date of this section. As used in this section, “expand” has the same meaning as in the Solid Waste Management Rules, Chapter 400, section 1, paragraph WW, adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection and in effect on the effective date of this section. This section does not apply to generator-owned landfills.

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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Current Events


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