Should a new waste dump be built by the Penobscot in Argyle and/or Greenbush?
Bangor Daily Poll at: http://bangordailynews.com/2014/07/01/news/bangor/proposed-new-landfill-to-get-public-hearing-as-maine-grapples-with-waste-management/?ref=search
On July 2, the DEP held an informational meeting at the Old Town Elks lodge, to gather Public input in order to make a Determination of Public Benefit for the MRC dump proposal.
A determination of Public Benefit is necessary for the project to go forward for final permitting. The Land Use Planning Commission will also have to rule on the project as it would be located in the Unorganized Territories.
Not one of the members of the Public who spoke at the meeting expressed support for the new dump. Several suggested that siting a waste dump in the heart of traditional Penobscot hunting, fishing, and gathering lands around Birch Stream would be a sort of genocide. Penobscot Nation representatives and the Maine Indian Tribal Commission have so far been excluded from the planning for the dump.
Dozens of Penobscot Nation community members marched from the Island across the River to the afternoon meeting. Over a hundred people from local communities, including Argyle, Greenbush, Alton, the Penobscot Nation, Greenfield, and Old Town filled the hall.
People raised concerns about impact on local water supplies, agriculture, hunting and fishing, why a new dump is needed only miles upstream of the State-owned JRL landfill, and whether the creation of a new dump violates the state waste hierarchy that clearly places landfilling as the least preferable method of dealing with waste. Several people raised concerns that the proposed waste facility location appears to be in-line with a proposed East West Industrial Corridor route.
Argyle and Greenbush sit on top of a major aquifer and well-known floodplains. Both communities are on the banks of the Penobscot River, and Argyle is located on Birch Stream and at the headwaters of Alton Bog. Argyle is adjacent to the Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, which protects the second largest peatland in Maine.
In 2006 a landslide occurred on the banks of the Penobscot in Greenbush. It moved for 3 days, and undercut Route 2, requiring rebuilding of the route. Experts have determined that there is possibility of more landslides in the area.
The specific location(s), owner(s), and operator(s) of the dump are missing from the application. MRC states the dump would not necessarily be owned and operated by MRC, and could be transferred to a “Successor Entity.”
The application does not contain details on who the “Successor Entity” would be. When a local resident at the hearing asked whether it would be Casella, one of the attending Casella representatives dropped his pen and notebook on the floor, looking flustered.
MRC claims that 72 of its 187 member communities have signed a resolution in support of the plan.
Representative Stacey Guerin of Glenburn spoke at the July 2nd meeting, and referred to a letter filed on behalf of area Representative Anita Peavy Haskell to the DEP, stating that representatives of MRC member communities have communicated that they were not aware that that the resolution they signed would authorize MRC to develop a new dump. At no point in the “Resolution To Continue the Advancement of Post 2018 Planning Process,” that member towns signed, is development of a new landfill ever specifically mentioned.
Not one of the hundreds of people who attended the July 2nd meeting spoke in favor of the MRC dump plan.
Video of the meeting will be posted soon.
On May 21, 2014 the Municipal Review Committee Inc (http://mrcmaine.org/) met with residents of Argyle, Maine, site of a planned new landfill and other solid waste processing facilities. The meeting was held at Happy Acres Hall in Alton.
Over 100 local residents responded to the MRC dump proposal with a resounding No!
Further details on this proposal, including the over 100 letters that have been filed in opposition are at the Maine DEP’s site for this project, http://www.maine.gov/dep/waste/mrc/.
Video of the Alton meeting filmed by Eric Tuttle is online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wLTIsdGmYs
More information on the proposed MRC dump at: http://noargyledump.com/