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As a result, state officials recently approved a acre expansion of the Crossro Landfill in Norridgewock that could open for business in three years. It argues that the restrictions on the project are not as strong as they would be in other nearby states, and it has formally appealed the expansion. Every year, the Crossro Landfill takes in roughlytons of garbage from inside and outside of Maine, including household trash, construction debris and asbestos and other hazardous materials.
The facility is expected to fill up in about three years, so its parent company, Waste Management, has proposed an expansion that would allow an estimated 7.
In May, the Department of Environmental Protection approved the project. It said the expansion would follow state environmental rules and be critical to the waste disposal efforts of Maine communities.
In June, the Boston-based advocacy group filed an appeal of the proposed expansion. Staff attorney Peter Blair said the state should instead focus on more environmentally friendly strategies such as recycling, composting and reducing waste.
As part of the expansion, for example, Crossro will have to collect rain runoff that has mixed with trash and send it to two wastewater treatment plants that discharge into the Kennebec River: one at the Sappi North America paper mill, and the other in the town of Madison. Blair said that Crossro should be required to filter contaminants out of the leachate before sending it to the plants. He pointed to a recent state report that found elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds chemicals in fish from sections of the river below those facilities.
The appeal also argues that state regulators should have required more protection against fluids that might leak out of the landfill over time and reach the groundwater, potentially contaminating drinking water wells or the Kennebec River a mile away. Crossro is required to line the landfill with a single layer of plastic on top of engineered clay.
But Blair said that the company should have to install a second plastic liner, as it has done in the past at Crossro and as some other states require of new landfills. The appeal claims that Waste Management is installing a double liner at another landfill expansion in Rochester, New Hampshire.
The Conservation Law Foundation argued some of that research was done at a time of dry conditions, which could have made it hard to tell how the groundwater normally flows there. And it also said that the required testing would not be adequate. Its appeal now goes to the state Board of Environmental Protection, which has some independent authority over state regulators.
A Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson, David Madore, noted that the proposed liner system meets state regulations. But he declined to comment on most of the concerns raised by the Conservation Law Foundation, given that briefings still have not been filed with the Board of Environmental Protection.
He said the agency will assist the panel as it reviews the appeal. This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.Norridgewock blue laws will stay in place
Correction: A version of this piece incorrectly identified the university where Kerry Rowe is a professor. The Conservation Law Foundation disagrees.
A spokesperson for Waste Management declined to comment on the appeal. More articles from the BDN. At first Jan. Next Not so friendly skies with air rage on the rise. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by .Welcome To Waterville Maine - 4K DJI Mavic Pro Drone Edit
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Environmental group wants stronger water protections for Norridgewock landfill expansion