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Occupy Augusta Interviews Part Four Posted January 13th, 2012

The "Occupy Augusta," Interviews part Four A



A :  “This is Representative Bob Duchesne for House District 13.  I’m on the Environmental and Resources Committee.”


Q :  “Now your speaking on behalf of Emily Cain the Representative from Orono, is that correct?”


A :  “Her office asked me to assist with answering any questions, because I’m more up to speed on the issue than she is.  Basically to give you some idea why, it’s actually on the edge of my District.  The entrance to the landfill goes in through my District, so, I’m probably closer to it, than she is.”


Q :  “O.K. and the landfill in particular we’re talking about is the one in West Old Town, Juniper Ridge landfill is that correct?”


A :  “Yes.”


Q :  “O.K. Now about the expansion, I guess there’s some issues that’s been raised when there was a meeting at the Black Bear Inn.  Where you at that meeting at the Black Bear Inn that took place that night?”


A : “I was, yup.”


Q :  “O.K..  O.K.. Now, what did you think about the concerns raised by the individuals in the audience about the stuff being released into the well waters and so forth?”


A :  “The information is publically available.  They have test wells around the landfill, and there’s no evidence that it’s really leaking anything to ground water.  And it would show up there first, because that’s why the test wells are there.  So, it can’t really get somewhere else without first hitting those wells, because ground water travels very slowly.  I have no personal knowledge of whether or not it is leaking.  What’s in the public record is that it’s not leaking.”


Q :  “Right, right, right, right.  That’s, that’s totally understandable and so forth.  I wasn’t even sure they were going to imply that it was leaking.  Because Nancy Oden did bring up some points about the… Basically, from incinerators you always have that ’fly ash,’ and so forth, that, you know…in the ah, ah, what’s that other word, I’m looking for?  Not the fly ash, but the dioxins, from the incinerators and so forth.  And speaking about incinerators…The incinerator in Old Town is that the same one that was in Athens that was designed for wood pellets?”


A :  “Yes, but that’s not currently burning anything now except green wood pellets from green wood.”


Q :  “O.K..  So it’s not burning any of the construction debris at all?”


A :  “Nope, not at all.”


Q :  “O.K..”


A :  “They tried for a while. It didn’t really work.  They stopped doing it and they appeared to have no plans as of yet to do it.”


Q :  “O.K.. So, when you said it ‘didn’t work,’ were you referring to the big cloud of soot that went over and people were having problems with their dog’s dying and the birds dying and the respertory problems, and the Penobscot Nation tested the soot and found high levels of…I think Mercury and other things in it?”


A :  “There were a couple of episodes where they definitely had some ash released that landed in Bradley.  That certainly exceeded limits and was a violation and they were found guilty of that.”


Q :  “O.K. and the construction debris that’s coming in is because of a change in State statue, that’s coming in from all around New England.  Is that correct?”


A :  “There’s not a lot coming from the rest of New England, and most of it is coming in from Massachusetts.”


Q :  “O.K., o.k., o.k..  And do they check those trucks to see if there’s any chemicals or anything like that in there?”


A :  “Do you mean illegal chemicals?”


Q :  “Yeah.”


A :  “I would have to defer to the State planning office to see what type  of checking is really done.  Basically, Casella as the operator is responsible for what’s going into its landfill.  So, I’m sure they have people onsite when some of this stuff is being dumped.  Furthermore it’s not coming directly in from our of state.  They can’t just cross the border with it and take it right to Juniper Ridge.  It has to be processed at a facility that is handling recycling.  So, if there were any illegal chemicals, any drums of anything it would show up there at K.T.I. facility and they would be legal responsibility for not letting it go further.”


Q :  “That’s an interesting point, because I did, ah, even though I didn’t print it in part One and two, in part three I did interview Jim Freeman.  He did state that they followed trucks coming in from Massachusetts and I think the other one was Connecticut, and instead of going to K.T.I., they went straight to the landfill.”


A :  “Casella would swear up and down that, ‘that ‘s not true.’  I don’t know if they’re telling the truth about it or not, but that would be illegal to do.  Casella would love to have evidence.  I would love to have evidence that really is happening, because I would cause Casella to end the grief if there were actual evidence to support that.  By evidence, I mean the name of the truck, or the number of the truck.  If anybody is actually following it across the border and up to Juniper Ridge directly, they should get the name of the truck and the number and report it.”


Q :  “O.K., and the other issue they had, Jim Freeman said it specifically the dump up in Norridgewock.  Are you familiar that’s it’s run by Waste Management Incorporated?”


A :  “Yup, I am.”


Q :  “O.K., and are you familiar with the alleged liner leaking?  One of the liners actually leaching into the Sand River?”


A :  “Is this a recent event?  Because I’m not aware of anything recent.”


Q :  “I’m not even sure to be honest with you.  I just interviewed him and that’s what he stated.”


A :  “Yeah.  Historically, now before Waste Management bought it, that landfill had troubles.  Once Waste Management took it over from a local owner, it’s had a pretty good record.  I don’t know what’s it’s record of violations might be; but I don’t know if they had challenges with the liner.  It’s certainly never been brought to my attention.  In the past it was a troubled landfill.  Lately it doesn’t seem to be.”


Q :  “Now are you familiar who Nancy Oden is?”


A :  “Yes.”


Q :  “O.K..  O.K..  Now I interviewed Nancy Oden and she brought up a very interesting point :  That Waste Management Incorporated was actually the world’s largest dealer in Nuclear and toxic chemicals and other garbage.  Is that correct?”


A :  “I don’t know what they do with their other branches in other States.  They are the largest trash company in America.  By far, they are a whole lot bigger than Casella.”


Q :  “O.K..  Because according to Nancy, They’ve actually seen at least one truck come in all the way from Colorado.  Does that raise red flags or question marks when hear something like that?”


A :  “Oh absolutely, because it’s really ridiculous to haul something all the way from Colorado and expect it to go up in Norridgewock.  Unless, something were highly, highly illegal and extremely dangerous, it would not be cost effective to do that.  I would love to see supporting evidence to do that.  I would love to see supporting evidence to that happening, because I don’t think that evidence exists.”


Q :  “Yeah, I would love to see that evidence myself, as well.  That’s why I got to be totally neutral on this and just to confirm some facts on this.”


A :  “Oh, sure as a reporter, you’re in the same boat as I am.  When someone alleges something, you want to see evidence.  If it’s just an act of a claim, unsupportive, then it would be difficult to be able to, for me to act on it on a Legislature point of view and for you to report it, when it’s not supported.  That would be a tough one.”


Q :  “Exactly, exactly.  And Nancy Oden also raised a point that if she were Governor, she would actually have State Police at the border with Geiger counters.  I guess checking to see if those trucks actually have any Nuclear or other chemical wastes they shouldn’t be bringing into the state.  For some reason they are not allowed to check them.  Her concern was about the connection of Waste Management Incorportated and the Nuclear Waste Connection as well.”


A :  “I guess it would make no sense to bring that kind of waste into this state, because we are a heavily water-logged state.  Issues would show up…pretty quickly.  If…had something that was in a landfill and it was getting out of the leach safe, the evidence would show up and especially in this state.  Scientifically this would be a stupid place to bring it.  So unless I saw evidence indicating that was actually happening I would tend to discount it.  Who spends the money to truck something in from Colorado to Norridgewock?”


Q :  “You know I have no idea about that either.  I personally haven’t seen any trucks.  When they said, ‘the trucks are coming in from Massachusetts and going straight up to the landfill,’ I haven’t personally seen any of that stuff myself.  I can’t allege that stuff happens.  But I can ask people what their thoughts about these alleged actions from other people I’ve already interviewed.”


A :  “Yeah, I would love to have somebody actually provide some evidence about that.  Because, if I had that kind of evidence I would be very quick to act upon it and as I said, raise ’Holy hell,’ about it.  But it’s been alleged for years and no one’s shown evidence of it.  There was some people in the past who said trucks have crossed the border and went up to the landfill in Hamden, which is also a Casella Property.  But, that was legal.  That was a private commercial landfill and they could do it.  No one has shown any evidence so far that anything has crossed the border and gone straight up to Juniper Ridge.  If it’s out there.  I hope they do.”


Q :  “Oh yeah.   I mean, it would definitely be up to someone reading this to actually take a video camera and you know, film it and make a phone call and have the truck number and everything else you related earlier.  How to actually do something about it and so forth.”


A :  “Yeah, what I’ve always wanted to do is just, pay someone down at the border and count the trash trucks going through and get the numbers and then have somebody at the Juniper Ridge entrance ramp there and just watching which trucks come in three hours later.  If it’s one of those trucks, then you can guess it didn’t stop anywhere.  The faster way to do it, rather than following an individual truck north.”  


 Q :  “Oh yeah definitely.  Well there were a couple of other questions brought up by Nancy Oden.  Now are you familiar with the decrease in ground fisheries in the state of Maine on its coastal waters?”


A :  “Yes.”


Q :  “O.K.. Now are you familiar with Cooke Aquaculture?”


A :  “No I’m really not.  I’ve heard the name, and that’s all.”


Q :  “O.K..  I guess there’s on the Canadian side, there’s Cooke Aquaculture.  What they do is, their specialty is Salmon.  Caged Salmon.  Because the Salmon can’t dive deep into the cold water to shake off the sea lice, they’ve been actually using pesticides to kill off the sea lice.  She alleges, that’s probably why the ground fisheries has been coming to a standstill, and now even the Lobster are having problems with their shells.  And the Lobstermen can’t even sell the Lobster, because the second part over in Canada, like Cooke Aquaculture.”


A :  “Yeah.  That sounds a little out of my area of expertise.  I don’t know the specifics on it.  Certainly they’ve been charged by it.  I think there was a story in the paper at the beginning of November at the Bangor Daily News.  That they have been charged with that in Canada.  So at least it’s been reported in a State wide newspaper.  That’s all I really know about it.”


Q :  “Now are you surprised about how the State Legislature said we should wait until the next legislative period to talk about the Juniper Ridge expansion and all of a sudden it’s getting pushed by the State Planning Office/ the Department of Environmental Protection for the expansion before the Legislative actually convenes in January?”


A :  “I’m not even sure who said what about that.  Who said the Legislature wants a delay?”


Q :  “Hillary Listner, I guess.  She’s been attending and speaking at all the Legislative sessions.  She’s the one that actually chained herself to the banister.”


A :  “Oh, I remember Hillary, very well.  (Chuckles.)  That was an LD 141 in the 122nd Legislation.  Oh yeah, I know Hillary.”


Q :  “O.K.. O.K..  So how do you feel about that?”


A :  “Well first of all, no I don’t think we are waiting.  There really are issues about solid waste coming in From Massachusetts, and not getting very much recycling and converted into Maine waste.  I think that’s atrocious, I think the system is being abused.  And the Legislature is going to be looking at some fixes for that.  We had some bills put in this last session, that we’re not waiting for D.E.P. to do anything.  We’re going to be taking up those bills in January.  And my bill.  I have a bill that will apply additional fee’s on the waste being brought in from Massachusetts, in a way to discourage it.  So we will taking that up.  Certainly how the State Planning Office is divided up and set up in various places.  That’s going to happen regardless in this next session.  No one’s waiting on that.  That’s going to happen.”


Q :  “O.K..  Hillary also said, I guess what happen, was she said, ‘and incidentally Don Meagher is the Casella rep who allegedly met with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to redefine what Maine waste is.’  Of course that is : ‘If it’s processed in Maine, then it’s considered as Maine waste,’ Are you familiar with that meeting?” 



A :  “Umm…I think what she’s probably referring to is, when they originally did the deal.  This was before I was in the Legislature.  Probably I guess in 2003.  Before Casella agreed to get into this deal, to buy the landfill and move that boiler from Athens into Old Town.  They confirmed with the State Planning Office and with the Department of Environmental Protection that , ‘Waste that is processed in Maine,’ so that valuable components are taken out for fuel and whatever, that the residue is considered ‘Maine Waste,’ eligible for land filling at Juniper Ridge.  So, if that meeting did take place and that conversation was/ is part of public record.  So, it’s definitely  been a done deal.  If waste is processed here the residue is ours.”


Q :  “Is there any chance of reversing that in the future with the Legislature?”


A :  “Yup.  There is.  It won’t happen this year, because there are no more bills allowed in.  So, the ones we will deal with have to do with:  whether (something in audio able.  Sounds like cross-processing) expand, Whether we put new fees on construction demolition debris and what happens with the State Planning Office and who gets what duties.”


Q :  “Now what’s going on with the State Planning Office?  Because it sounds like they are actually getting rid of the actual Department.”


A :  “Yup.”


Q :  “If they do, whose to take responsibility for the ownership of the Juniper Ridge landfill?”


A :  “Ah yeah.  Last year as part of the appropriations budget, it was determined the State Planning Office was going to be dissolved, and it’s various functions sent to different places.  A proposal will say: ‘The landfill ownership portion will go to the Bureau of General Services.’  Which is the entity of State Government that oversees all contracts, or building, grounds facilities and etc..  The person who supervises the landfills from the State ownership point of view, George Mac Donald, will end up with the Department of Economic and Community Development.  So the contracts rest one place, the oversight rests at D.E.C.D. and Department of Environmental Protection will take over the oversight of recycling programs, etc., in the State.”


Q :  “O.K..  I guess what I hear from individuals I’ve been interviewing, that Pattie Aho from the Department of Environmental Protection, was 22 years ago, an ‘attack dog lawyer,’ for the dumps when she worked for Pierce Atwood, when they tried to put up a dump in Township 30.  Are you familiar with that?”


A :  “I’m familiar with Township 30.  I don’t know if Pattie worked on it back then.  Pierce Atwood has certainly been very involved in solid waste issues.  I don’t think Pattie has ever been involved.”


Q :  “O.K..  O.K..  And according to Jim Freeman he also said the landfill in Old Town is probably big enough to last the whole entire State of Maine for 50 years.  Was that an exaggeration, or is that pretty much on the mark?”


A :  “No that wasn’t an exaggeration.  If we were really careful with the air space.  If Maine were running only Maine waste, and we were doing our best job at recycling it would last 50 years.  And the way Casella is running it, it’s not going last that long.”


Q :  “O.K..  O.K…. So, with the landfill expansion, is that true that they need to expand the landfill to build up enough gas pressure to build a pipeline down to U.M.O.?”


A :  “Nope.  According to the University of Maine and Casella, there’s enough gas being produced right now to meet the needs of the University of Maine and there is no need to put any more waste in there in order to generate the gas.  It’s already there, and it will continue to be there.  They don’t need the expansion to make that project work.”


Q :  “O.K., and before the tape recorder started we actually had a brief conversation; because Paul McCarrier stated there was going to be Hydrogen Sulfide gas that was going to be used.  Sort of like the one used in the Documentary, ‘Weibo’s War.’  About an individual up in Alberta.  When they were trapping this gas around his property, his kids were being born with like half a face, and his animals were being aborted early and so forth.  They actually labeled him as an economic (Doug- I meant to say ecological.)  terrorists, because, you know, he was going against the companies and so forth.  Now according to you it’s not Hydrogen Sulfide, is that correct?”


A :  “Ah…No.  Umm…  Well first of all, I don’t think Hydrogen Sulfide does that.  I don’t think it causes generic defeats.  It can cause you some health problems if big enough doses, but it’s rare for that type of exposure to come from a landfill.”


Q :  “O.K..  The students at U.M.O. won’t be living under quote, ‘One huge cancerous cloud?’”


A :  “Nope.  That’s not accurate.  I don’t know where they would scrub the Hydrogen Sulfide either.  They may scrub it and flare it off at the landfill for all I know.  In which case, the Hydrogen Sulfide wouldn’t even get close to the campus.  I don’t know where the scrubbing would take place.”


Q :  “So if they flare it off around the landfill, would the area residents be affected from it?”


A :  “No, because it’s already being flared off there now.”


Q :  “O.K..”


A :  “I mean, basically it is releasing Hydrogen Sulfide in a very low, in fact at this point, very low quantities, not enough really to affect health.  It is enough to annoy on bad days.  Ummm…but it’s not really a health threat, it’s more of an annoyance threat, most of the time.  There some are people sensitive to Sulfur and they have had some struggles with it.”


Q :  “O.K., and the other question I got.  What do you planning on using the gas for?  To heat the thing or to use it as Natural gas to heat it, or just burn it down at U.M.O.?”


A :  “Yeah.  Basically the gases coming out of a landfill is a mixture of several gases.  About 40% of what comes out is Methane.  Which is a natural gas that you can use for fuel.  Ummm, Hydrogen Sulfide is  another gas that comes out of there.  When you have certain things like dry wall from construction demolition debris, there’s a lot of Sulfur in the gypsum wall board.  And when that breaks down in the presence of moisture, it produces Hydrogen Sulfide gas.  What they do is flare that off, so it burns right there at the landfill.  In order to use the Methane gas, they’d have to separate out the Hydrogen Sulfide to make the fuel quality they need.  And that’s what they do at other landfills.”


Q :  “O.K., and ah, well getting back to the incinerator, did you…I guess I didn’t print this because I didn’t actually have anything to back it up.  But Hillary Lister also raised the point that the incinerator in Athens, to get the…  they were fines because the trash around the incinerator caught on fire.  And instead of paying like I guess it might have been a $600,000 fine.  A deal was struck to move the actual incinerator up into Old Town, instead of paying the fines to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.  Are you familiar with that?”


A :  “I don’t know how the fine situation eventually worked out.  Umm…what they did do, they took some of the money and they funded a study.  That says, in fact it’s called the Boralex study.  They tried to determine when you incinerate this construction demolition debris fuel,  what are the most dangerous parts of doing that?  For instance, how much is too much arsenic from pressure treated wood, or lead from lead based paint.  What are the concentrations of bad stuff that threaten the environment when you burn it?  And so, they did a bunch of studies to figure out what are the teal threats, from construction demolition debris.  Part of the fines funded that.  I’m not aware of any of the fines being used to fund the transfer of the boiler.  So I think those are two different things.” 



 Q :  “O.K., and I guess Nancy Oden also brought up the point that ah, when you were talking about burning the waste and so forth, ah, that there is an actual Federal Law that says:  ‘that if it’s an article of Commerce, that we have to accept it.’  And because of that one thing of Federal Law, that we will probably be stuck with accepting out of State construction debris, because we don’t recycle everything in the State of Maine ourselves as residents, to the ‘inth degree.’”


A :  “She’s almost right.  Ah, what there is, is, ah, the Supreme Court has ruled that solid waste is an article of Commerce that states can’t regulate.  So you can’t ban it.  What that means is, is somebody owns a commercial landfill, like a Waste Management Company up in Norridgewock, the State cannot tell them, they can’t import out of State Waste to go in there.  Because that would be unconstitutional.  Only Congress has the right to do that under the Commerce laws of the Constitution.  Ah, so, what Maine did, was years ago say:  “O.K..well, if we can’t ban it from going into commercial landfills, we’re ban commercial landfills altogether.  Then our own facilities and then no out of state waste will go there.  So that was the original idea.”


Q :  “O.K..  O.K.. so…”


A :  “She’s basically right, that , as an article of commerce it’s not actually a law, it was a Supreme Court ruling.  Saying if it’s going to be a law it has to be passed by Congress and States can’t mess with it.”


Q :  “O.K..  O.K..  That’s understandable.  Ah, I think that’s pretty much it.  I do apologize to our readers if I missed… Oh, Oh, The Natural Resources Council of Maine.  Are you familiar with that organization?”


A :  “I am.”


Q :  “O.K..  Are you surprised they had nothing to say about the Juniper Ridge Landfill?”


A :  “No I’m not surprised.  Everyone of the Environmental Organizations in the State have a particular focus.  N.R.C.M.  has been focused on land use issues.  They have been focused on Nature and Health and water quality issues.  They really have not been very focused on solid waste issues.  They, from time to time shown a little curiosity about it and they thought they should get more involved.  They had one guy whose working over there who is involved in product stewardship.  You know, trying to, get manufactures to take back bad stuff rather than put it in landfills.  So he got a little bit involved in over the last year.  Ummm… but it just hasn’t really hasn’t been N.R.C.M.’s focus.”


Q :  “Right, and according to Nancy, because they are a 501-C-3, yeah, 501-C-3, they have to be very cautious not to disrupt because basically they have to report, that not to lobby too much and they have to report that to the Internal Revenue Service.  Are you familiar with the 501-C-3 ruling that says you can’t lobby too much on certain bills and so forth?”


A :  “Yes…Ummm…I’m not sure how it affects their lobbying.  Because their experts are testifying and arguing all the time.  And basically they are lobbyists.  So clearly as a 501-C-3, they are capable of doing that.  Ummm….What they are not able to do is, I think is get involved in elections.”


Q :  “O.K..  So, the 501-C-3 wouldn’t not have permitted them to get involved with the Juniper Ridge landfill issue?”


A :  “Nope.  Wouldn’t have prevented them at all.  Maine Audubon lobby’s all the time too.  They’re a 501-C-3.  They advocate a lot on issues and they lobby constantly.  Being a 501-C-3, does not prevent you from lobbying.  What it does do is, prevent you from getting involved in electoral politics’.”


Q :  “O.K..  O.K..  So…well the other thing Nancy alleged also, is because ah, the reason why they didn’t have anything to say about it was, their parent company…ah!  I’m trying to think of it.  I’m trying to see it on the paper, but the words are so small.  Ah, I think it was the natural, the world wide…Let me see for a second, Ah, the national Wildlife Federation.  I believe.  And their parent company, was Waste Management Incorporated.  (Note to readers on correction.  The National Wildlife Federation accepted large donations from Waste Management Incorporated according to Nancy Oden.  I clearly made a verbal mistake by saying ‘Their parent company, was Waste Management. –Doug.)  Are you familiar with that?”


A :  “Nope.  I’m really not.”


Q :  “O.K.. O.K..  Because I guess she said Waste Management Incorporated donates like hundreds of thousands of dollars to Natural Resources Council of Maine’s parent company.  I do apologize if I did get the name and the correct order wrong and so forth.  But ah, I probably can correct it with parentheses.  It’s no big deal.  You know, basically, that’s why she said, you know, basically that’s not the real thing.  Now how do you feel…”


Q :  “Well Nancy has a lot of entertaining opinions.”


Q :  “  Right.  O.K., and how do you feel about Paul LePage’s grasp on the environmental issues for the State of Maine?  Do you think you know, like Nancy said :  ‘He’s a big city guy and he doesn’t know very much on the environmental issues because he doesn’t see as much as those out in the rural areas and the small towns.  You know, the one’s that get dumped on with the garbage from the cities and you know, know the effects on the wildlife and fisheries and woods and so forth?”’


A  :  “He certainly has his own set of opinions about how to balance environmental interests versus business interests.  So yeah, he’s got an opinion and I would say his background is not particularly strong in environmental matters.  On his own personal knowledge, he does get facts wrong, but he wouldn’t be the first Governor like that.”


Q :  “O.K….err…Are you making reference to like ah, ah, ah, possibly ah, John Baldacci, which you, you know, had his brother go up to Athens and sell them on accepting the incinerator and so forth to burn construction debris and you know, you…are you familiar with that?”


A  :  “Ah…familiar with what?”


Q :  “How Governor Baldacci’s Brother went up to Athens, and he sold the town council on his brother’s Pine Tree Zones and he should accept the incinerator to burn constructions debris.  But…”


A :  “Oh, I know what you mean.  Yeah, you’re talking about…Ah, it was GenPower.  There was a period back about 6-7 years ago, when ah, a project wanted to go in there to burn C.D.C..And it would have basically replaced the Boiler that was there that went up to Old Town, with an updated modern facility.  That would have done it more cleanly.  And it didn’t.  It didn’t happen.”


Q :  “O.K..and are you familiar with the ah, ah, the issue about the ah, Dioxins being in the Lobster Tomalleys and how a couple of years ago, the Maine Fish and Inland wildlife, ah Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, issued a warning that said : ‘don’t eat the fish.’  Pretty much, ‘if you’re pregnant, or if you’re a male, just eat it once a week,’ and so forth?”


A :  “Yes, there have been those advisories.”


Q :  “O.K.. Now do you think the Dioxins, could possibly be coming from the, the , ah, what do you call it?  The, ah, Juniper Ridge Landfill and other incinerators such as that, and out of State?”


A :  “Nope.  Nope, it wouldn’t be.  There’s…historically it was part of the paper making process when you used chorine, but that’s pretty much gone away.  Dioxins happen naturally, anyway.  And they are also produced artificially, when you burn certain items at relatively cool temperatures they form.  But, that’s one of the things they would control for in an incinerator, to make sure Dioxins don’t happen.  They have to burn at a certain temperature and maintain that temperature and to not form them.  What’s happening in the Ocean is a combination of a lot more than, you know, incinerators.”


Q :  “O.K. and are you familiar with the Pest Control Board, at all?”


A : “Nope, not at all.”


Q :  “O.K.. O.K.. O.K..  Now well, I guess according to Nancy, again, the Pest Control Board, Ah, I can actually read you this, ah, it’s only one paragraph.  It says, ‘I.e. : so called Wild Blueberry growers.  Those blueberries are not wild.  They burn them.  They spray them.  They take the rocks off.  They are no more ‘wild,’ than a sprayed strawberry field, for one thing.  So what people hate is the pesticides.  They know the reason people in Washington and Hancock and Waldo Counties have large amounts of Cancer is because, of the Poisons that are sprayed ‘willy-nilly,’ practically every year.  And we know that and people hate them.  But they don’t know what they can do.  Now I’ve tried Petitions and have ruled petitions in front of the Pesticide Control Board.  Which every member of the Pesticide Control Board, there about a dozen of them, they are appointed by the Governor.  And they all have connections to the Chemical Industry.  Including the University.  And they have a small staff which ‘kowtows,’ to them, because they can get fire them at any time.  The only reason they exist, is to let the Chemical companies come in and say: “ O.K.. We now need to test this poison and that poison.’  And they say: ‘Yes.’  They never say, ‘no,’ to any pesticide.  Even those that have been banned by other countries, and other parts of the World and Canada.  They had never banned one.  And so, that’s one whole area of expertise that I’ve worked on and still am for about 30 years on that one.  It’s a matter of trying to get other regular people to speak out and show up at hearings and express their anger and discontent at these very things.’

    Now how do you  feel about hearing that, the whole paragraph about Nancy Oden going, going that deep about the Pesticide Control Board?”



A :  “Ah, well, ah…I guess my first thought is:  Yes, people would end up on the Pesticide Control Board are people who have experience with Pesticides.  They may have a relationship with a Chemical company or, they may be just part of the Farming Industry; but you don’t put someone who doesn’t know anything on a board of expertise.  So I’m not sure I would draw the connection as she does.  But beyond that, I don’t have any expertise in it.  I don’t deal in that policy area.  But, I’m not qualified to comment any deeper than that.”


Q :  “O.K., and the other thing that has been brought up too is:  Pattie Aho and the preceding, not Darryl Brown, when he was promoted, then switched over to the State Planning Office, because of a conflict of interest.  But under the Baldacci administration, the other Commissioner under the Maine Department of Environmental Protection also came from Pierce Atwood.”


A :  “Yup.”


Q :  “It just seems like someone might say, you know, when the Governor comes in: ‘Hey, you know, we can assign her, and so forth.’  Do you think the Governor really know about their background before he appoints them, or do you think he just says, you know: ‘I’m new here, sure she sounds good.  Why not?”


A :  “Ummm…Yes, because of their background.  And generally speaking they do a pretty good job… (In audio able.)  it.  I’m not sure that LePage did that good of a job, because some of his commissioners didn’t last very long.  But by and large, they know who they are appointing.  And again, I have to say that the previous Commissioner did come from Pierce Atwood, and he was one of the most aggressive environmental…he really did more to protect the Environment, I think than most Commissioners in the last decade.”


Q :  “You see that’s why I appreciate this interview.  So I can get facts like that brought up to our readers and so forth.”


A :  “Yeah, he was really aggressive in protecting the environment.”


Q :  “And what was his name?”


A  “David Littell.”


Q :  “O.K..  O.K..  Ah, well, I think that’s pretty much it.  Do you have any closing statements you want to make to our readers?”


A :  “Nope.  I really don’t.”


Q :  “O.K..  I want to thank you very much.  Now does this mean that, ah, Emily Cain basically doesn’t have anything to say?  I mean should I try to contact her and see if she wants anything to…”


A :  “You can.  But if you want details about the solid waste issues and what the history is , and what the issues are, and who the players are, that’s me.  Because that is my area of expertise.  I’ve been working on that issue since I got elected the first time.  Emily in the past has been on the education committee.  She’s been on the appropriations committee, and then she has been party leadership.  So she hasn’t had the ‘hands on experience,’ that I’ve had.”


Q :  “Yeah, it doesn’t sound like it.  So I probably won’t ask her.  But I do want to thank you for your time.”


A :  “Yes.  I will say on Emily’s behalf, she’s as concerned as I am.  She also believes that this solid waste issue should be, improved, and she’s just as interested in the bills coming in through the Legislature in January as I am.  So, she’s on it.  She’s just not up to speed on the exact details as I am.”


Q :  “Do you think they might approve the expansion, before the Legislature starts in January?”


A :  “  Nope.  No and remember, they are not approving the expansion.  They’re only deciding whether to go ahead in applying for the expansion.  What they are after right now is the public benefit determination to decide if, it’s even worth considering an expansion.  If there’s no benefit to the public, then there’s no point in going forward with an expansion.  And so, that’s what’s suppose to be determined right now is, ‘If there is a public benefit, to considering an expansion right now. ‘”


Q :  “Oh.  There was one other thing I do have to ask, because I forgot.  This is going to actually be in part three.  A number of the people, at the Occupy Augusta movement.  I can’t remember if it was one or two, but they basically painted Darryl Brown, the outgoing Commissioner for the State Planning Office, as like a ‘henchman,’ for the, the, the…Oh, I forget which companies it was and so forth.  I really apologize.  But, basically a ‘henchman,’ for the Casella and Waste Management and so forth.  Do you have anything to say in his defense, since he’s out of office?”


A :  “I don’t know why they would come to that conclusion.  I don’t believe he had any real relationship with Casella at all, until he came into office.  None of them that I’m aware of, anyway.  Once he was over at State Planning Office, after leaving (Maine,) D.E.P., he’s essentially the owner of a landfill.  So, to that extent he does have a relationship.  And he was an advisor to the Governor to try and figure out on behalf of the Governor, what the State’s solid waste policy is going to change to.  Because something’s going to change.  The Governor has to do something, and Darryl was suppose to be an advisor and how, what the changes were going to be.”


Q :  “Now are you familiar with Darryl’s career before he actually came to the State’s Planning Office?”


A :  “Yup.  I am.”


Q :  “O.K..  Now was his job, because I interviewed Will Neils, was basically, you know, looking at Maine Law and saying:  ‘Well, we can get around this, if we do this, and that way we can do it,’ and so forth, and spent his whole career doing that.  Since you know him so well, is that exactly true or…”


A :  “No.  That’s not true.”


Q :  “O.K..”


A :  “I wouldn’t characterize him that way.  I would characterize it that: When he owned Maine Land Development corporation, and still does I believe, which is a consulting firm.  And so, his role is to help clients do things that are legal.  It’s not to get around the law.  It’s to do things that are consistent with the law.  That’s he’s been responsible for advising …( Can’t make it out on the tape.  Next words sound like ‘All years.’)”


Q :  “So, some of those things might not be in the best interest of the citizens or residents of Maine?”


A :  “Well, his responsibility is to his clients.  And it has been his job for all of his career, to make sure his clients are doing things that are consistent with the Law.”


Q :  “O.K..  O.K.  that sounds fair enough.  Well I want to thank you very much for your time and I hope you have a great day Sir.”


A :  “Thank you very much.”


Q :  “Your welcome.”  

Interview with Bill Thompson – Penobscot nation Air Quality Program Manager.


Quote from Hillary Lister in Part One :


“But the burner can't handle burning construction debris, because it wasn't build for that. They finally stopped burning construction debris after a big cloud of soot, gunked up, releases cloud into neighboring town of Bradley , which is directly across the river form the Mill. People's dog's died. 2 Dogs died right after that. the State claimed the soot wasn't toxic. But Penobscot nation, conducted their own tests, because it rained down on Indian Island, which is also right by the burner. (She thinks it was 2006.) And found high concentrations of primary lead and other toxins. In the Air in samples of soot they collected."


Bill :  Yeah, I will definitely help you out there.  First off, what’s the name of the Lady who you are quoting?


Q :  “Hillary Lister.  She’s from Athens.  She has been involved in the Incinerator issues for the last six years.  She actually chained herself to the banister, I think it was last session.  So people would listen to her speak, and she influenced about 30 people’s votes.”


A :  “Committed.  Right, o.k..  Let me see, well, the combustion device over in Old Town, I don’t think…I’m pretty sure it’s not listed as an incinerator.  I think it’s more of a boiler.”


Q :  “O.K..”


A :  “Now off the record, the difference is…I mean it doesn’t have to be off the record.  But, an incinerator operates at very high temperatures and it’s primary purpose is to completely combust materials.  And you know, oxidize them to combust them and release them into the air.  That’s a way to get rid of trash.  The device over in Old Town at the Mill is a boiler and that’s primary focus is to generate electricity.  So it doesn’t operate at a such a high temperature.  Now the difference is that, sometimes the stuff gets through there.  The second thing is that directly across from the Mill is the Town of Bradley.  And that is where all the toxic ash fell.”


Q :  “So did any of that fall on Indian Island?”


A :  “Ahh…No, No.  It went right across the river, right onto Bradley.”


Q :  “O.K..  So none of that fell on Indian Island and you folks didn’t had to do any tests or anything like that back in 2006?”


A :  “Ahh…In 2006, we had been running particular matter site.  But it didn’t…You see, the thing about lead based ash coming, or ash with lead in it, is that it’s very heavy, and so it doesn’t go very far.  So it happen to fall on Bradley.  People over in Bradley collected Samples.  But the samples were not tested by the Maine D.E.P., because the samples, basically they said the samples could be contaminated by the collection method.  Which was to scoop up the snow, so they were not tested.  The Bangor Daily News ran a headline and it said something about the Maine D.E.P..

    So the Penobscot Nation, although we had been doing particular matter sampling, we really did not pick up anything.  But, the interesting news is that, if you talk to the Town Manager in Bradley, I’m sure she’ll be able to help you out.  They, Maine D.E.P., did set up a sampling site in Bradley after that.  They have collected data for over a year, and that’s particular matter, basically dust, fine particular dust.  So, unfortunately as much as I’d like to help you with the story, we really don’t have very much to contribute except that, you know, Nothing fell on Indian Island that we are aware of, and we didn’t pick anything up from our sampling.”


Q :  “O.K..  Well, I do have one more question to ask.  Does the Penobscot First Americans, do a lot of ground fisheries by any chance?  Like Lobsters and fishing for ground fish and so forth?”


A :  “Ah, we don’t have anything to do with Shell Fish.  But we are involved with the Penobscot River restoration.  It’s one of the leading River restoration partners with State and Federal and private groups too.  And that is working to remove lower dams in the Penobscot river so all kinds of different fish can move up the river.  Ah, we are a river based culture, the Indians, and we, you know, fully support any , any endeavor that will help clean up the waters, and also the air.  But, you know, we’re not against economic development.  Obliviously we’re for responsible economic development.”


Q :  “Right.  I was asking because I was wondering if you folks had found high levels of concentration of dioxins in the fish that you folks catch.”


A :  “Yes, there have been dioxin studies done by us, and there have been Mercury studies done by us.  And now we're not allowed to eat more than one fish a week.  Now you know what would be great, if you have questions about that, Dan Kusnierz is our Water Quality Program Manager, and he would answer any questions you have about that.  He’s the expert in that, since I’m the air guy.  He’s the water guy.


( Note to Readers.  I interviewed Dan, but the cell phone I recorded the conversation with  created too much static for the tape recorder.  Here is an e mail on the information I talked to Dan about.)


Hi Doug,


I have cut and pasted the question(s) that I think you wanted me to answer into the body of this email.   Let me know if I missed or misunderstood any of your questions.  


Q :  “My last question to Bill Thompson was the following, as is also his response:

‘ Q  :  Right.  I was asking because I was wondering if you folks had found high levels of concentration of dioxins in the fish, that you folks catch.’

‘ A  :  Yes there have been dioxin studies done by us, and there have been Mercury studies done by us.  And now we’re not allowed to eat more than one fish a week.  No you know what would be great, if you have questions about that, Dan Kusnierz is our Water quality program manager, and he would answer any questions you have about that.  He’s the expert in that since I’m the water guy.” (Bill is the air guy)


Please include what we talked about over phone, when you also mentioned how it’s tough to study fish because they move around a lot,


 (This is Dan’s Response: Doug.)



Yes testing done by us as well as by others, including ME DEP, has shown elevated levels of mercury, dioxin, and PCBs in fish in from the Penobscot River, including the area around Indian Island, Old Town, Veazie.  The contaminant levels are high enough to warrant the tribe and ME CDC to issue fish consumption advisories.  However, the contaminants in these fish cannot be traced to the West Old Town landfill.  These same contaminants are found in many locations within the Penobscot River including upriver of Milford/Old Town area that would be potentially affected by the West Old Town landfill.  It is difficult to measure these toxic contaminants directly in the water; therefore we use fish and other organisms because the contaminants bioaccumulate in their tissues at levels that are more likely to be detected. Of course fish move around so using them to identify sources of pollution has its challenges. 


One of our concerns with the West Old town landfill is that it accumulates large amounts of waste in close proximity to the Penobscot reservation and has the potential to have significant impacts to tribal aquatic resources and the tribe’s use of them if a leak occurs.






Daniel H. Kusnierz

Water Resources Program Manager

Penobscot Indian Nation


Hi, I'm the man who spoke to you over the phone the other day about the Lobster in the Tomalley warning that Nancy Oden made in part two b. 
     Thank you Doug Papa


Hi Doug,


I have forwarded these emails to Andy Smith, State Toxicologist who will be able to assist you.  I have cc’d him on this email.




Lisa Roy

Program Manager

Health Inspection Program






Hi Doug, Below is  our existing advisory on Lobster Tomalley due to chemical contaminations (i.e., dioxin like compounds and PCBs).  This advisory has been in place for a number of years.


Saltwater Fish & Lobster Tomalley Safe Eating Guidelines

Warning: Chemicals in some Maine saltwater fish and lobster tomalley may harm people who eat them. Women who are or may become pregnant and children should carefully follow the Safe Eating Guidelines.

It's hard to believe that fish that looks, smells, and tastes fine may not be safe to eat. But the truth is that some saltwater fish have mercury, PCBs and Dioxins in them.

All these chemicals settle into the ocean from the air. PCBs and Dioxins also flow into the ocean through our rivers. These chemicals then build up in fish.

Small amounts of mercury can damage a brain starting to form or grow. That's why babies in the womb, nursing babies, and young children are at most risk. Mercury can also harm older children and adults, but it takes larger amounts.

PCBs and Dioxins can cause cancer and other health problems if too much builds up in your body. Since some saltwater fish contain several chemicals, we ask that all consumers of the following saltwater species follow the safe eating guidelines.

Revised June 3, 2009

Safe Eating Guidelines

·         Striped Bass and Bluefish: Pregnant and nursing women, women who may get pregnant, nursing mothers and children under 8 years should not eat any striped bass or bluefish. All other individuals should eat no more than 4 meals per year.

·         Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, and Tilefish: Pregnant and nursing women, women who may get pregnant and children under 8 years of age are advised to not eat any swordfish or shark. All other individuals should eat no more than 2 meals per month.

·         Canned Tuna: Pregnant and nursing women, women who may get pregnant and children under 8 years of age can eat no more than 1 can of "white" tuna or 2 cans of "light" tuna per week.

·         All other ocean fish and shellfish, including canned fish and shellfish: Pregnant and nursing women, women who may get pregnant and children under 8 years of age can eat no more than 2 meals per week.

·         Lobster Tomalley: No Consumption. While there is no known safety considerations when it comes to eating lobster meat, consumers are advised to refrain from eating the tomalley. The tomalley is the soft, green substance found in the body cavity of the lobster. It functions as the liver and pancreas, and test results have shown the tomalley can accumulate contaminants found in the environment.

For more information, call (866)-292-3474, or read the Freshwater Fish Safe Eating Guidelines.


Here is  a Department of Marine Resources website that discusses a joint advisory we issued in 2010 due to Paralytic Shellfish Poison (“red tide”) in tomalley. 


Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (Red Tide) Reminder

Press Release - July 8, 2010

For further information, please contact:
DMR: Darcie Couture 350-6035
CDC: Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH 287-3270

With elevated levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP, also known as red tide poisoning) causing many areas of the coastline to be closed to commercial harvesting for some shellfish, and with especially high levels detected recently in the Downeast area of the state, Maine CDC in the Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Department of Marine Resources are reminding Mainers and tourists of recommendations for the safe consumption of shellfish.

Important steps people can take to thoroughly and safely enjoy Maine shellfish include:

1. Purchase shellfish from a certified shellfish dealer. Their operations undergo rigorous public health screening and auditing.

2. If harvesting for personal use, make sure the shellfish beds are not closed for red tide. Check the Department of Marine Resources’ website for the latest information on closed areas:

3. Do not consume clams or mussels floating in ocean waters. They are likely to have filtered much more algae-containing water than those from flats or beds, and therefore will usually have much higher concentrations of toxin.

4. When eating lobster, do not eat the tomalley.

Advisories against eating tomalley have been in effect for years in Maine, neighboring states, and by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), mostly due to the presence of PCB toxins, and more recently due to PSP. It is important to note that testing has shown lobster meat is safe to eat. Tomalley is the soft, green substance found in the body cavity of the lobster and functions as the liver. Much like the liver of other animals, the tomalley serves as a natural filter for contaminants that are in the water.

Paralytic shellfish poisoning is a marine biotoxin that is associated with certain types of algae blooms in coastal waters. Bivalve shellfish such as clams, mussels, oysters, and quahogs filter water and eat the toxic algae from the water. High concentrations of the toxin in these types of shellfish can then cause serious illness or even death if eaten by humans.
Although it had been about 30 years since the last report of Mainers with red tide poisoning, the state has seen three serious but non-fatal incidents in the past three years (one each in 2007, 2008, and 2009), involving a total of eight people. All three incidents involved people from Downeast Maine consuming mussels harvested for personal use, and one involved mussels growing on a rope or barrel floating in the ocean in areas closed for shellfish harvesting because of red tide.

Symptoms of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning:

Symptoms of PSP usually include tingling of the tongue, lips, and throat that begin within minutes to 10 hours (usually within 2 hours) of eating shellfish. This tingling may spread to other areas of the body such as the face, neck, and arms. Symptoms can also include headache or nausea, and can progress to weakness, difficulty breathing, and choking. It is important that people with these symptoms seek medical care immediately.

Shellfish that may be unsafe:
Clams (soft shell, hard shell, surf, or hen); Mussels; Oysters (both American and European); Quahogs; Snails; and Whelks.
Fish that are usually safe:
(please call the
Poison Center to check, this list is not all-inclusive): Crab (meat, not whole crabs); Lobster (but not the tomalley); Scallop meats; Shrimp; and Finfish.

For more information:

Maine Department of Marine Resources Red Tide Closures:
Maine CDC/DHHS Red Tide Information:
FDA Tomalley Consumption Advisory


There are NO advisories for lobster meat.  Testing has indicated levels of toxicants and toxins are not of health concern in lobster meat.  They are only a concern in the lobster tomalley (which is an organ in lobster that is sort of like the liver and pancreas combined).  The toxicants and toxins appear to be concentrated in this organ.



Andy Smith



Andrew E. Smith, S.M., Sc.D.

State Toxicologist and Director,

Environmental and Occupational Health Programs

Division of Environmental Health

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention


 My name is Doug Papa and I am writing a series for an online magazine.  In
 one part someone made comments and I would like to have your take on this if
 I may.  The comments are :

 "...There’s Dioxin in the Lobsters.  Which the Lobster Council fights like
 hell to keep out of the public eye.

 But, now I know too much about Lobster and feeding under the caged Salmon
 pens of their feces and urine.

 You see all these issues are inter-related.  So the chemicals are in the
 Coastal Water.  The Lobster fishermen are finding Lobsters with shell
 diseases that look awful.  So they can’t sell them.  They’re not sellable.
 And the Salmon Industry, which is right across in Canada.  You know you can
 see them.  Not from Jones Port, where I am, but farther north in Washington
 County.  You can see them.  They’re owned by Cooke Aquaculture of New
 Brunswick.  Which you can see their pens right across and because they tend
 Salmon.  Caged Salmon can’t escape the little predators that attach
 themselves, and suck on them.  They are called ‘Sea Lice’.  If they were
 free, they could dive deep to cold water and the ‘Sea Lice,’ would fall off
 and die.  But they can’t, so this Cooke Aquaculture tosses pesticide  right
 onto the open waters of the pens, that’s Cypermethrin.  And it’s one of
 those pyrethroids.  It’s very toxic.  And Lobster fishermen, because it
 kills insect like creatures, which these Sea Lice are as are Lobsters.  So
 it is affecting…they are finding dead Lobsters in their traps.  These
 Lobster fishermen in New Brunswick and also here in Maine.  Although you
 won’t hear about it, because the Lobster fishermen do not want bad publicity
 about the ‘car wreck,’ which I totally understand.  But this is the truth.
 This is what’s happening.  It’s like the fishermen in the Connecticut and
 Long Island sound.  Which is huge, Long Island sound.  They sued the City of
 New York used all Cypermethrins and other pesticides to kill mosquitoes,
 because of the West Nile Virus.  Which is usually no more worst than a
 cold.  And it’s a big scam for the Chemical Companies.  Anyways, all these
 pesticides ran into Long Island Sound and killed the Lobster fishery.
 Killed it.  All these Lobsters are dead.  So they settled.  The City of new
 York settled a couple of years ago with the Lobster fishermen.  And many,
 many, millions and Millions of Dollars.  All these fishermen’s livelihoods
 were dead.  So I mean, it’s just the whole Chemical Industry is responsible
 of the death of millions of creatures, including people, every year.

 The garbage, the pesticides, the spraying of the agricultural crops that
 hurt the people living in the wide range area, the poisoning of Maine’s
 Water, so that fishermen have to be warned: ‘Don’t eat the fish that you
 catch.’  That the public which should be warned, but it was only issued in a
 small release which they won’t tell the public.  We released it.  That there
 is so much Dioxin in the Tomalley of Lobsters bodies, that no one should
 ever eat a spoonful of Tomalley.  We put posters all over the State,  a
 group of us years ago, which fairly promptly got torn down.  Perhaps by
 Lobster fishermen..."



Hi Doug
Here are some references to put the comments into factual context:
Re lobster tomalley
Re lobster and salmon/pesticides
(see Sea lice treatments trouble lobstermen)
Re lobsters and Long Island Sound die-off
"Sixty-five scientists at 30 institutions and agencies nationwide
participated in the research initiative, investigating the effects of
environmental factors, mosquito control pesticides, and disease on the
physiology and health of American lobsters. The results indicate that
the physiology of the lobsters was severely stressed by sustained,
hostile environmental conditions, driven by above average water
temperatures. A new lobster
disease, paramoebiasis, was identified as the proximate cause of death
for the majority of lobsters examined by pathologists. Laboratory
studies demonstrated that the pesticides used for mosquito control
have sub-lethal or lethal effects on lobsters, based on concentration
and time of exposure; however, modeling exercises indicate it is
unlikely that the concentrations of individual pesticides in western
Long Island
Sound were high enough to cause the mortality event."
Re safety of Maine seafood, again see state website:
Re water quality
(see page 70 for summary)
I hope this helps.
Best regards, Patrice

Patrice McCarron, Executive Director
Maine Lobstermen's Association

Interview with Jim Freeman

Q : “Alright, I’m sitting here with Jim Freeman. It is January 4th at the Statehouse. Jim, the last time we spoke, it was the day after the Protest at the Governor’s Mansion. Now in part three of the series. Now can you tell our readers what’s been going on since that time?”

A : “Well, first of all, bail conditions prevented us from going on State property in Augusta. They modified that and allowed us to go on any State property, except for the Governor’s Mansion and Capital Park. The State followed up with a thing, I don’t even know, it wasn’t really legal, again wasn’t allowed on any State property. Which would have meant the Courthouse. So they modified that. Which means I can be in this building at this time. I’m just not allowed in the Governor’s Mansion or Capital Park. We have an arraignment coming up on January 18th. There’s nine of us. We plan on pleading ‘not guilty,’ and then have a trial. I don’t know how many are going to have a bench trial or Jury trial.  I know a significant number of us are going to have a jury trial.  Other than that, we’re just waiting to hear…   It takes a while, the whole process, so were just in limbo really.”


Q :  “O.K. and I interviewed Representative Bob Duchesne from House District 13.  The entrance of the Juniper Ridge Landfill is actually in his district.  He said he wasn’t aware of the leaching taking place on the Sand river from Waste Management.  He did say there were some problems before Waste Management took it over, in Norridgewock.  He sits on the Natural Resources Committee and was really knowledgeable about the issues.  Is this alleged leaching recent and if not, how many Legislatures are aware of it?”


A :  “I don’t think any of them really care to look at it, because you got to do some investigation.  What we have to do is be able to take water samples above the dump and below the dump.  Now that’s the way to do it.  But, the way it works is they have a rubberize liner or a big plastic liner;  and then they have a few inches, like a foot of sand, and another liner.  And the sand is suppose to be a buffer.  But you’re putting in… I mean it just makes sense.  It’s not all just smooth soft stuff that’s going in there.  You can have bed springs.  You can have all kinds of stuff that would puncture that.  And if they both get punctured, and it can just by the ground moving, rocks under the ground.  Then it can leach underneath.  The sand is suppose to be like an absorbent, but if it gets through the second liner, it goes directly into the river.  And we feel very confident that, that’s happening.  It might not be huge amounts, but it’s definitely happening.  It happened with the Sawyer Landfill in Hamden…They had to buy all the houses around there because all the well were getting contaminated, and that had a similar liner system to it.”


Q :  “He did say something about, ‘he’s always wanted to do.’  I told him how you followed a dump truck without stopping a K.T.I. in Lewiston.  He proposed having someone at the border taking down the numbers of the trucks and what time they arrive.  Then having someone at the entrance ramp, and if they show up three hours later, it’s probably a safe bet they didn’t stop at K.T.I..  I added the effect of catching it all on video tape.”


A :  “I think that is correct.  It was not I.  There is a few people that are doing that.  They stopped at the first rest area when you come to Maine.  The ‘Welcome to Maine…’  there’s a bit rest area there.  They’ve spotted trucks in there.  They’ve talked to the drivers about going to Lewiston.  The driver admitted:  ‘I’m not going to Lewiston or Auburn.  I’m going straight to West Old Town.  Straight to Juniper Ridge.’  So that’s a great idea, and I think that will happen more and more, where we just actually follow the trucks.  Probably not from the border, but the first rest area.  Or pick them up from the first rest area and follow them.”


Q :  “O.K.  Now in part One Paul McCarrier mentioned two other law firms associated with State lobbying:  Eaton Peabody and Tardy Mitchell.  Are you familiar with them, and if so, can you give a description to our readers, on what they do?”


A :  “Well, they’re just large lobbying firms.  They’re law firms who represent, generally a lot of times, out of State people.  The biggest one in the State is Preti, Flaherty and Beliveau.  But Eaton Peabody is another one.  There’s several of them and they do ‘one-stop-shopping.’  When a company comes in , and wants to do something, they represent them.  They try to get all the permits passed through and they conduct the hearings or whatever for the companies.  So yeah, we have major problems with organizations like that, because they’re kinda like, they’ll will work for anybody.”


Q :  “Do you know who Malcom Byrson is?  He was mentioned as the facilitator at the meeting that took place at the Black Bear Inn.”


A :  “  I do know who he is.  My understanding is he resigned his position after that evening.  He was in way over his head.  It was a total corrupt evening.  I mean you have Casella coming in there, hand in hand with the State Planning Office.  Then you have Patricia Aho who worked for, I believe one of the Lobbyist firms, came directly from Pierce Atwood I believe.  She was representing the dumps and now she’s sitting on Judgment of the dumps.  And then the project coordinator there, their all coming into on the same meeting there.  It was ridiculous.  And this guy, I think what we had the most offense was, they only had three criteria we were allowed to talk about at the meeting.  They set the whole agenda, and we didn’t adhere to that.  And that’s why he’s getting such a hard time and quitting I guess.”


Q :  “  Now when you’re talking, setting the agenda, are you talking about the Maine Department of Environmental Protection using to determine the public benefit for expanding Juniper Ridge Landfill, the format they were using?”


A :  “Correct.  It was part of the format, but they would only allow us to address three, and I forget the three criteria.  And one of those was the public benefit.  Our questions had to fit into that mode.  It had nothing to do with Leachates, or pollution, or water quality, you know, or the trucks driving up on Bennett road.  None of that was allowed and we took offense to that.” 


Q :  “Now Ralph Coffman, I guess, I think he was a Representative from Orono back in the early 90’s, and he ran for Governor twice as an Independent.  When he spoke at the meeting at the Black Bear Inn, what I saw, I was just horrified.  It’s just like that picture you see from the ‘Tet Offensive’ in Vietnam.  When the Chief of Police of Saigon, which he takes a gun and he puts a bullet through the Viet Cong’s head.  Were you that shocked, or as that shocked, when that facilitator kept shutting Ralph Coffman off, when he had valid points he was bringing up?”


A :  “Well I think the facilitator was in way over his head.  They’re used to being in charge.  And what you saw there was a classic case of democracy.  The citizens, of the people of the area not letting them be in charge.  Not letting them set the agenda.  Ralph’s very savory.  He’s a good guy and he’s smart.  So, he just kept pushing his issues and they didn’t want to hear it, and they don’t want those questions to come out.  They don’t want to address the real citizen’s concerns.  So I thought Ralph did an extraordinary job and I thought the other guy looked like an idiot to tell you the truth.  You know.”


Q :  “Now just for our readers.  I’m just going to take a second here, and elaborate what Ralph Coffman …basically he said: ‘I saw test wells that were underwater.  And then the engineers said you can have 2 test wells 3 feet apart and if there is a fracture in the system; then the facilitator, interrupted him while he was speaking on this and it seems he was trying to stop him from continuing.  Ralph Coffman then went on to say:’…bringing toxic waste water.  The two wells will not pick that up 3 feet apart.  So now on Juniper Ridge…Junipers don’t even grow on Ridges, it’s a swamp.  I mean come on, it’s not even a joke here.  I’m out a million dollar business, you think I have a little anger?  You think I’m a little disappointed?  I don’t do that…’  Then the facilitator interrupted him saying: ‘Your time is up.’  The crowd jeers to the facilitator, ‘Your time is up!’  Ralph went onto to say, ‘that I can’t do that for my children.  And now my grand children.  You got several generations that are going to die here.  And you guys are going to be all gone.  You don’t care.’  The audience loved it and wanted him to keep talking saying, ‘He is speaking for us!’ When the facilitator said he wanted someone else to speak.  In fact the panel seemed they were just frozen like stone statues.  It was like sacred children being yelled at by a parent or teacher.  What do you think of that?” 



A :  “Well again.  I think Ralph did a really good job.  He was saying what had to be said, and he was calling them to it.  Because it is.  It’s a ‘sham.’  They’ll set up different things.  I mean, you can’t put wells 3 feet apart and it is a swamp.  You know, as he said, I’ve been in there before they even did the landfill.  It’s a huge wetland, and it’s really close to Alton bog.  It is kind of a weird place in Maine.  You don’t have bogs that size.  Peat Bogs.  And it was horrible.

      The only way it happened was because it used to be a slug dump for Georgia-Pacific.  The State bough that and put the incinerator in Old Town and Georgia-Pacific went out of business anyways.  So the whole thing was a scam from the day one.  To allow Juniper Ridge to go there because they knew the Hamden landfill was at capacity.”


Q :  “From my own review of this series, I’m drawing at least one conclusion.  It’s basically things like the Township 30 Landfill fight.  The companies said:  “Well, if we can’t get in through this door, let’s try to get in through the door of the now closed Mills sludge dumps.  Is that too far off the mark?” 


A :   No, I think your right on with that.  I think your there.  And when they talk about the public benefit, the landfill would last for 50 years.  Wheat the Landfill is designed…Principally, most of your trash goes to either the M.E.R.C. or P.E.R.C. plants.  The M.E.R.C. is in Biddeford and the P.E.R.C. is in Orrington.  And so what they take in the landfill is the ash.  Which is the…which is left over after the burn.  Mostly everything gets burned.  Whether you like that or don’t like it, that’s the way it works.  So and then there’s certain trash, house hold trash, that would get dumped in there.  If you have Construction and Demolition debris from Maine. You can grind up, you have to separate it, you have to recycle it.  Take out the old pressure treated, because it is full of heavy metals and you have to take out the P.V.C. and anything like that.  Because P.V.C. creates Dioxin if it’s not ‘Auto cleaned.’  So it would last.  But if we bring in out of State waste, because we’re there making their money.  It’s against the law to do that, unless it’s recycled.  And the whole thing is a scam, and it was designed tight out of the chute to bring in Construction Demolition debris from out of state.”


Q :   Now I read a story and I can’t remember where.  It said a woman lived very close to the Juniper Ridge Landfill.  Her daughter moved to Massachusetts and had $16,000 worth of Asbestos removed from her basement, when she asked the driver where is was going he said: ‘Don’t worry, it’s going to Maine.”’


A :   It is .  As is a lot of other toxic chemicals.  What I was told at one point is that they can dump 55 gallon drums of toxic chemicals into the back of the container.  And just leave the back door open an little bit.  And it just dribbles out along the Interstate.  And it just gets hard and evaporates.  Or it gets into the streams along the Interstate.  That’s been happening for a long time.  It’s hard to prove, but again it happens.  It’s an easy way just… you know, because, there’s a lot … most of the asbestos comes from pipe coverings.  You know, when they take out old buildings it’s encased in pipe for insulation, and that’s mostly where the asbestos comes from.”


Q :  “I guess some out of state people went up to Penobscot observation tower and mistook Juniper Ridge Landfill as a mountain.  Others have said it smells a couple of exits before the Landfill.”


A :  “In certain conditions it does.  And as you look at Sawyer Landfill in Hamden, that’s right along the Interstate, you can see that’s the highest point anywhere around.  So Juniper Ridge is going to be way bigger.  Because it’s a little further off the Interstate, it’s going to be way bigger than Sawyer.”


Q :  “ According to our sources, Casella went into a 30 year contract with the State to the tune of $26 million dollars.  It was based on the legal and regulatory environmental at the time.  Now Casella’s Lawyers are preparing for a fight to keep the State from changing the rules that made the deal great in the first place.  That’s if the State moves to restrict Construction Demolition Debris.”


A :  “Let them go to court, because we’re going to win this one.  Because we can prove it’s really not really being recycled.  And what’s happening in K.T.I. it’s not really a recycling facility.  I was just there.  I have an appointment to see them in a couple of weeks, and have a tour of that place.  But yeah, again it ‘s a scam.  It’s just designed to bring in stuff that they can dumps and use that can’t be used to get burnt.”


Q :  “Now, Construction Demolition Debris sounds like a chemical nightmare.  The gypsum boards have sulfur in them.  When moisture hits them, you get hydrogen sulfide.  Are you shocked other media networks are not raising red flags about this chemical reaction?”


A :  “Yeah, I am, because I don’t think people have any idea.  I mean even years ago, you know if you had an abandon house in Maine, sometimes it was burnt, because, you know, used as an exercise for local fire departments, as a training vessel of something.  Right now what you’re seeing, is this unprecedented thing, even in a bad economy, the house get’s excavated.  I just saw this thing in Cleveland where they’re excavating houses that have been abandoned in the communities.  Well, they really don’t take the toxins out.  You got asphalt shingles, you got poly vinyl chlorine in the pipes, you got asbestos, you got all types of toxins that should be removed, and properly land filled or recycled.  That’s not happening, because it costs more money to do that.  So, they just ‘bash ‘em,’ throw them into a container and ship them to Maine.”


Q :  “Are you surprised that Casella started dumping a relatively small amount of Tonnage at juniper Ridge Landfill before j****** up the tonnage until it’s now almost full?”


A  :  “It’s not almost full.  Ummm…It has a ways to go.  But it will be full in 10 or 15 years, and so I think it’s very profitable under these economic conditions for them to do that.  So they’re going to try and make as much money, as fast as they can and then they’re going to get out of it.  And they will be long gone.  And we’re be stuck with their nasty legacy.”


Q :  “Are you familiar with Trash Trackers Network, that’s tracking the trash into Juniper Ridge Landfill?”


A :  “I do know a little about them.  I’ve talked to a couple of people in that and I’d like to personally  get more involved with that.”


Q :  “Now basically, the big question I have to ask the State Planning Office tomorrow is:  ‘Is it an incinerator or a boiler at Old Town Mill?  Because I heard two different things from people.  If it’s an incinerator the temperature would be too high to form dioxins according to Bob Duchesne.  However, if it’s a boiler to produce electricity then the question I would have to ask that State Planning Office would be if the dioxins being released?’  What’s your take on this?”


A :  “Well I think it’s an incinerator.  But the incinerator was never designed to burn Construction and Demolition Debris.  It was designed to burn wood chips, excess branches, however they won’t do it.  But again, the Incinerator originally came from Athens and was defunked.  The State paid $25 million dollars for that.  Moved it to Old Town, and it simply cannot burn Construction and Demolition Debris.  It burns out or wrecks the scrubbers.  The dioxin issue is kinda funny, because it has to be at 2,000 degrees.  And there is no real way to prove that.  So at some point the boiler can be operating at full capacity, or full whatever and burn in or above the 2,000 degrees.  And most of the time it’s not, and it forms dioxin.  Even a small amount of dioxin can cause Cancer.  So the people across the River they are well aware of this, but find ‘blotches.’  Especially in Winter, black ‘splotches’ in the snow and in the puddles.  There’s people that lost their dogs to arsenic poising from drinking a puddle in their driveway.  So it’s a scary situation.  And you know, you don’t always have control, because it’s going to go in the direction of the wind.  Either primarily North West in the Winder, South West.  The  wind is coming North West in the Winter, South West in the Summer, so it can go in different direction.  But it’s definitely polluting areas around there as well.” 


Q :  “Now are you familiar when that big cloud of soot went over to Bradley and people tried to collect samples and the State…I can’t remember which Department it was.  It might have been the State Department of Environmental Protection.”


A :  “It was.  Dave Litell was the Commissar at the time, because I went to a hearing about that.”


Q :  “And they said they couldn’t use the samples, because it was improperly collected?”


A :  “Correct.  It was totally bogus.  He was really on the spot.  Because people were saying:  ‘Hey can my kids even play in the yard?’ –We don’t know. ‘Can my kids go out an…can we have a garden?’ –No.  ‘Can my kids do this, do that?’  He didn’t know.  And yet they shut down, I believe they shut down the Mill in February.  But they re-started in July.  Which, because then you’re not going to have anything show up on the people’s lawn.  It was totally disgusting when they did that.”

Q :  “Are you familiar with last year’s amendment that allows bringing in Bio-Medical waste into the State?”


A :  “I am and that another disgusting thing.  That get’s processed in a facility in Pittsfield and that gets, whatever they do and they bring it to the Norridgewock dump and then dumped it there.  Supposedly they are suppose to have special circumstances, but my understanding is that there is not.  It’s layered in a bed of sand with a liner, covered in sand.   And it’s basically can be leachated and can get right and get leachated out and that can go right into the river or the ground.”


“In part three you said:  “Maine produces 30% more power than we use.  All the wind generations.  Almost all of the Industrial wind is going out of State, and none of it stays in state.  Except for Rollins, which is up in Lincoln.”  What’s your views of the current state of Affairs at Maine’s Department of Energy?” 



A :  "Again, it's totally corrupt.  Like I said.  Every paper Mill in Maine is a net producer of electricity.  We have adequate hydro electric.  We have the natural gas.  I think there's three natural gas facilities.  One in Veasie.  One in Westbrook and one in Rumford.  They're all...none of those operate all of the time.  They could, but they are designed to back up the wind generators and stuff.  So we... It all goes out of State.  Except for Rollins, and Rollins which is around the Lincoln area, and they are trying to change that law right now, so they can sell out of state.  If you notice, if you going out there, there is a major upgrade of the grid throughout the whole state.  That is also part of the deal , to set, to be able to increase the volume of power to have more wind mills.  They are going to run a new power grid from Calais across Maine on the East-West Highway,  and they're going to have a 'T' from Costigan /  Old Town area, it's going to go South off and parallel the Interstate.  And there's not going to be any 'On ramps,"  or 'Off Ramps,' on that.  It's just directly going out of State."


Q :  “Do you know who’s in charge of the proposed ‘East-West Highway,’ from what is Calais to Coburn’s Gore?”


A :  “It is going to Coburn’s gore.  I think Peter Vigue from Cianbro is the main person.  Although I do know Irving Corporation is involved.  Several Canadian Organizations are involved.  Umm…and it’s a massive project that we must stop.”


Q :  “Let’s shift gears to the Regulatory Takings Bill.  Once again, we have Pierce Atwood.”


A :  “Right.”


Q :  “They supposedly drafted the ‘Takings-Bill.’  According to our sources, it would effectively freeze land use regulations for the benefit of developers.  Pierce Atwood’s lobbying Clients include clients Casella Waste Systems, Nestle Waters, which you mentioned in part three, of North America and Horizon Wind Energy.  I guess Governor LePage supported this.  What are your feelings about this subject?”


A :  “Well it can happen.  My take has always been, we live within 8 hours of 30-40 million people.  And so the big attraction to Maine is the quality of life.  If we make Maine like every other State, we’re in big trouble.  People come here to recreate.  People come here just to catch their breath, they come here to look at wildlife.  They come here for sporting reasons, and stuff like that.  Snowmobiling, fishing, hunting, Ummm…and to change that and ruin that is doom for us.  We’re are a resourced based State.  And so these big Lobbyist firms do nothing but work against our best interests.  And it’s all for greed and immediate profit.”


Q :  “I tried for a considerable time frame to get an interview with Maine State Police Spokesman Steve McCausland.  He won’t acknowledge any repetitive requests I made for an interview.  So, I’m going to…We’re going to have some fun here.  I’m going to ask you, just to get a response from somebody.  Now isn’t it interesting, isn’t it ironic, isn’t it a coincidence, or however you want to phrase it.  I’m not pointing any fingers.  I’m not alleging anything.  I’m just saying: It’s quite a ‘coincidence of a parallel,’ how out of State dump trucks are going into Old Town and now Bangor has the Biggest problem with Bath Salts.  Which are now illegal in Maine.  I think 2 ½ pounds is worth, like $170,000.”


A :  “Yeah, I, I…you know, they’re not going to want to answer those questions, because they’ve been told by their higher up’s to just ignore the trucks.  You know, you rarely see those trucks be stopped for safety violations.  You rarely see anything happen to those trucks.  They’re going down on Bennett Road.  And sure when they stop, it’s an easy deal , to bring in any kind of Contraband into the State.  Because, they know coming in their not going to get stopped.  They’re not going to have any problems with like a normal truck would have problems.  I’ve never seen a Demolition, a Construction Demolition truck stopped.  And I’m not sure if your familiar with Bennett Road, but it parallels the Interstate from Orono up to Stillwater and then it turns off and goes to juniper Ridge.  So it’s just a little residential road.  And to have a massive amount of trucks on there getting off the Interstate, getting on that road and then getting off is a travesty.  And like you said, I think somebody does have to answer some of those question.  Because  it just isn’t a coincidence that Bangor is the leading place, probably in the Northeast with Bath Salts.  And it’s epidemic and the cops are…has a major problem for the police.”


Q :  “So chances are, we probably wouldn’t see any State Police whipping out a Geiger counter and going over a truck coming in from Colorado, if it’s going up to Norridgewock’s Waste Management.  Which is the World’s leader in Nuclear and Chemical Waste.”


A :  “  right. No, you never see them get stopped.  You know, never.”


Q :  “Do you have any closing statements?”


A :  “No.  I just thank you for your interest in this.  And that’s why we’re here for.  We’re going to be fighting this until we win.” 


Preview of Part 5


This preview of part 5 is when a conversation is taking place about Pattie Aho of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, between me, Diane Messer and Hillary Lister.


Hillary:  “One thing I just wondered is, if she is still listed as a registered as a Lobbyist for Pierce Atwood…”


Diane: “Can you find out?”


Hillary:  “Well she’s listed as 2011, registry Lobbyist…”


Diane:  “Well, Now currently?”


Hillary:  ”…On a Maine Ethics website.”


Diane:  “Why don’t we challenge that?”


Hillary:  “Yeah.  She’s no longer for Casella, but for other Pierce Atwood Companies.  She’s listed as their registered Lobbyist.”


Diane:  “How can she do that as head of D.E.P.?  How is that legal?”


Hillary:  “I don’t know.  She’s however recused herself, and it’s just old data that I’m using.  I don’t know.”


Diane:  “She hasn’t been recusaling herself though.  I’ve listened.  I’ve sat there in testimony, like you have as well.”


Q :  “Can you define what recusaling means?”


Diane:  “Recusaling means if you have a personal interest in an issue being handled, because of you separate ‘expertise,’ or ‘involvement,’ as a Lobbyist or a consultant.  That you are suppose to, first of all, make that known, on a particular hearing or through a certain action.  And then recusaling, that second step, is to excuse yourself, mean, your taking yourself outside that processing.  Saying: ‘I have a personal vested interest in this issue,’ and ethics would demand that you not be involved in it, in an official capacity.”


Q :  “So that’s when Jim Freeman, probably said that: ‘that she didn’t find there was any conflict of interest.  Even though it’s not what the public found.”


Diane:  “That’s her decision.  Which means…An example of that is ‘the fox watching the hen-house.’  It’s not for her to determine whether she does or doesn’t have an interest.  It’s for an independent agency to say: ‘Yes, there is a personal interest.’  Not let her do it arbitrary, but to determine ‘yes,’ or ‘no’ whether there is a conflict there.  And she would be compelled to recuse herself.  It shouldn’t be put on a basis of the individual, should acknowledge it, first off and then second off, should decode whether it ‘is,’ or ‘isn’t,’ a conflict.”


Q :  “And there was never an independent agency or…”


Diane:  “No.  No.  Not in this case.  And I…you can add a little bit further illumination to that.”


Hillary:  “Well, I mean, it’s just the big, like you’re saying, with the probable elimination of the State Planning Office, the ownership and the oversight is going to go to D.E.P..  So any sort of decision of whether that is a conflict of interest, lies with the people who have the conflict of interest.”



E-Mail send to C.L.F. Minutes before Part 4 A and Four B were published:


Dear Sean Mahoney, Vice President and Director of Conservation Law Foundation Maine. 



    I was on an internet search engine for the key words: “Pattie Aho Attack dog lawyer for the dumps Maine D.E.P. and came across your blog.  It was tagged “Clean Water Act.”  The title was

Failure to Act:  Letter to Patricia Aho, Commissioner Maine D.E.P.  This was posted on Jan. 4, 2012.


   I would like to ask your permission to print this entire introduction and letter as posted on your blog for our readers to see.  I am not asking for a just a link, but for the entire exact words to be reprinted.  In exchange you can use whatever I have and will print in the future of the “Occupy Augusta,” Interviews.  I would also like to request any and all information directly or indirectly related to the series I’m doing to be reprinted word for word on the online magazine covering this political drama.


                                                                           Thank You,



                                                                           Doug Papa

Owner of Music Trade Reporting on behalf of one of our advertisers, ArchEnemys online Magazine   



Note to readers.  This series has been e mailed to key personal at the following Newspaper Publications:


Portland Phoenix


Capital Weekly


Bangor Daily News


Lewiston Sun Journal


Kennebec Journal.

Doug Papa