Maine DEP Releases Determination On Public Benefit To Proposed Juniper Ridge Landfill Expansion

January 31, 2012

CONTACT:
Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Spokesperson samantha.depoy-warren@maine.gov (207) 287-5842 (office) or (207) 592-0427 (cell)

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Environmental Protection determined there is a public benefit to a portion of an expansion to the Juniper Ridge Landfill proposed by the Old Town landfill’s owner –the Maine State Planning Office– and operator –Casella Waste Systems.

In the determination issued today after a four-month review, the Maine DEP found that a 9.35 million cubic yard expansion would be in the public’s benefit because it meets the state’s long-term disposal capacity needs and is consistent with Maine’s waste management plan. That amount could provide statewide disposal capacity for between eight to 11 years which given uncertainties of future waste generation rates, the department felt was more appropriate than the 21.9 million cubic yard expansion the applicant had proposed.

The partial approval of the public benefit determination was granted with the condition that third-party audits be conducted every two years of construction and demolition debris (CDD) processors that anticipate transporting more than 10,000 tons of oversized bulky waste annually to Juniper Ridge. The audit condition was incorporated in response to public comments and a commitment from DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho to ensure that as much material is being recycled and beneficially reused in Maine to minimize the amount landfilled in the state.

Under state statute, an application for a license to increase landfill capacity may not be submitted until the Maine DEP first makes a determination that the proposal provides a substantial public benefit. Therefore, the owners of the landfill may now submit a technical application to the department’s Division of Solid Waste Management to license up to 9.35 million cubic yards of expansion. If and when that technical application is submitted, DEP will provide multiple opportunities for public engagement, including through a public hearing and public comment submission period.

The DEP’s 37-page public benefit determination is available at http://maine.gov/dep/waste/juniperridge/.

-END-