Penobscot Nation and Other Affected Communities Speak Out at Public Hearing on Solid Waste Reform Bill
On Wednesday, April 3rd, the Maine Legislature’s Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources heard public testimony on three bills including LD 401, “An Act to Preserve State Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling”, written in collaboration with members of affected communities and sponsored by Rep. Ryan Tipping of Orono(PDF LINK). The bill strives to comprehensively address a number of issues those neighboring waste facilities have been underlining for a number of years.
LD 401 would request the accurate tracking and record keeping of waste from its generation to final disposal point, including as landfill leachate discharged into Maine waterways, addressing the Juniper Ridge Landfill leachate deposited into the Penobscot River. It would walk back a 2011 state statute that allows out of state waste to be re-classified as in-state waste. It would also walk back the ability for the state to meet recycling goals by counting construction and demolition debris used as landfill covering and waste biosolids used as agricultural fertilizer. It would strengthen protections for the health of those living in close proximity to waste disposal facilities, including the Penobscot Nation. John Banks, Director of the Department of Natural Resources, Penobscot Nation and Mauilian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador both spoke on behalf of the Tribe in support of LD 401. Penobscot Tribal member Dawn Neptune Adams also spoke. Additional Penobscot Tribal members provided written comment.
Sunlight Media Collective covered the hearing, including Josh Woodbury, Dawn Neptune Adams, Andrea DeFrancesco and Meredith DeFrancesco. Video and audio recording by Josh Woodbury. Additional coverage on RadioActive on WERU FM, produced with Sunlight Media Collective: LINK TO RADIOACTIVE