The following were 'solid waste' bills heard before the Legislative Joint Standing Committee on Natural Resources:
LD 141 an Act to Ensure Proper Disposal of Debris and Protection of the Environment
This bill would ban the importation of construction/demolition debris into the state for disposal.
Outcome: The bill was a vehicle to carry a concern regarding possible toxic releases from the incineration of waste construction/demolition debris. DEP has been directed to conduct a study and produce a report on the source, volume and management of construction/demolition debris in Maine.
LD 381 an Act to Enhance the Safe Disposal of Household Hazardous Waste
This bill would require municipal officials in each county to work together to designate an existing transfer station or recycling center in each county to accept HHW for disposal by residents of that county on a year-round basis.
Outcome: This bill was identical to one introduced last year (which was defeated). LD 381 was discussed, an overview of the current HHW programs in the state was had and the committee was sympathetic to the need of managing HHW properly but was unable to support the bill. The committee voted 'ought not to pass'.
LD 406 an Act to Amend the Dates Associated with the State's Recycling and Waste Reduction Goals
Current statute has the state achieving the 50% recycling goal by 2003. That was not reached so the bill would push the date out to 2009. The bill also clarified that the State's waste reduction goal was a biennial goal, not an annual one. That 5% waste reduction goal target would be pushed out to 2009.
Outcome: After much discussion on what has been done and what needs to/will be done, the bill was supported by the committee and voted out 'ought to pass'. The Governor signed this into law on May 25, 2005. Public Law Chapter 220
LD 597 an Act to Amend the Solid Waste Landfill Laws
This bill would require that an adjudicatory public hearing would be required when an increase in the height of a commercial or state-owned landfill that accepted special waste was requested and specifies that the applicant shall pay the Department of Environmental Protection's costs in processing the application. The bill also amends the law governing the joint citizen advisory committee for the state-owned landfill in Old Town to include two representatives of the Penobscot Nation.
Outcome: The bill received strong support from the committee but the number of residents requesting the adjudicatory hearing was raised to five (5) and one member of the Penobscot Nation would be appointed to the West Old Town Landfill's citizen advisory committee. The Governor signed this into law on June 8, 2005. Public Law Chapter 341.
LD 880 an Act to Prohibit Municipal Landfill Dumping
This bill directs the Board of Environmental Protection to adopt rules to limit the transfer of bypass waste to landfills and to ensure that disposal in a landfill is not the primary means for disposal of municipal solid waste.
Outcome: After discussion, the committee determined the bill was not appropriate and voted 'ought not to pass', but not before getting a commitment from the Department of Environmental Protection to develop clearer guidance on what constitutes 'by-pass waste'.
LD 1076 Resolve, To Recognize Alton as a Host Community with Regard to the West Old Town Landfill
This resolve directs the State Planning Office to grant the Town of Alton status as host community to the state-owned landfill in Old Town, should an event occurs that increases the likelihood of financial or environmental impact to the Town.
Outcome: The bill was amended to have the Department of Environmental Protection grant Alton 'automatic intervenor status' if the State Planning Office seeks an expansion permit for the West Old Town Landfill and the Town of Alton requests automatic intervenor status in that permit process. Governor signed the bill on June 2, 2005. Resolve Chapter 74.
LD 1669 Resolve, To Authorize Certain Host Community Benefits Relative to a Landfill in the City of Old Town Owned by the State
This resolve directs the operator of the State owned landfill in Old Town to enter into a host community agreement with the City of Old on terms and conditions that are at least as favorable to the City as provided for in the operator's bid to the State. The agreement shall be executed within 90 days after the adjournment of the First Special Session of the 122nd Legislature or 90 days after the effective date of this subsection.
Outcome: The bill is being held over until the second session of the 122nd Legislature.
There were some other bills related to lead issues, emissions from resource recovery facilities and other waste related topics.