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6th Edition posted May 2020

Carlisle Mclean on L.U.R.C.
Commissioner Bill Beardsley on L.U.R.C.
Commisioner Patricia Aho on L.U.R.C.
Kevin Roach
Don Meagher
Susan Johannesman
Carlisle Mclean and George McDonald Part 1

5th Edition posted June 2015

The following are add-ons for the 5th edition: 
 
The Missing Interviews of Cindy Sullivan and John McKibbon 
 
L.D. 879 
Richard Roy (or sounds like that on the tape recording.) 
Unidentified Woman 
 
For L.D. 1671 
(East-West Highway/ D.O.T. committee.) 
 
Senator Roger Sherman 
Represen6Beth Turner 
Jonathan  Nass 
Bruce Van Note 
Jennifer Mills 
John Melrose 
John Williams 
Ben Yeoman 
Tim Doyle 
Steve Perry 
 
Against L.D. 1671 
Anthony Dunn 
Bob Weingarten 
Jody Spear 
Jenny Gray 
Dave Wood 
Benjamin Marriner Pratt 
Christine (Inaudible last name.) 

Neither for nor Against L.D. 1671

Bob Net

Denise Pantella

4th Edition posted April 2015

Bill Armstrong

 

3rd Edition posted September 2012

 

3rd edition add on's by order of Appearence:

 

L.D. 1671:

 

State Senator Doug Thomas

 

Second half of Will Neils public comment.

 

Diane Messer

 

Sonia Acevedo

 

Doug Papa

 

Other matterial :

 

Chris Buchanan handout to D.O.T. committee on L.D. 1671's work session, while L.U.R.C. was being covered.

 

Stephanie Itchkawich on L.U.R.C.

 

Hillary Lister Interview gathering signatures for O.P.E.G.A. investigation.

 

Lisa Hunt on L.U.R.C.

 

Hillary Lister interview on missing D.O.T. 1999 study on the proposed 'East-West Highway."

 

2nd editon posted August 2012

2nd edition add-ons:

 

Chris Buchanan 2nd half of talkinig to television reporters.

Interview with Jim Freeman

Interview with Diane Messer

Interview with Chris Buchanan

 

Note to readers:

3rd edition will be posted in September.

It will feature the second half of Will Neils

public comment on L.D. 1671

concerning the proposed

'East-West Highway.'

Along with more that took place that day.

 

1st edition of Preview for the Occupy Augusta Interviews Posted July 2012.

 

Not all interviews are completed and more public comments at the State House Committee meetings are awaiting to be added.

 

 

 

This is The Occupy Augusta Interviews Part 5 - The final chapter.  The Interviews start with George MacDonald and took place the day after the Jim Freeman interview that was published in Part 4.  These interviews take place from January 2012 and end on March 20th 2012 at a rally at the Maine State House.  (For the record, Part 5 has never appeared in ArchEnemys online magazine.  Hence, the long length of this last part.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E Mail to Peter to forward to Samantha Depoy-Warren :

 

 

 

To: peter.j.rogers@maine.gov

Subject: Please forward this e mail to Samantha DePoy-Warren, at the Department of Environmental Protection

Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2012 14:18:49 -0500

 

 

 

 

My name is Doug Papa and I have been writing a series for ArchEnemys online magazine called the Occupy Augusta Interviews.  Below are either statements that have been published so far or statements that have been covered for part Four.  If you can either state “No comment, I don’t know that information,” or, provide information in response to what has been said that would be great.

 

 

 

In part Two b Nancy Oden said:

 

Oh, by the way, the head of the (Maine) D.E.P. that was proposed to him…you know for a guy who gets to be governor who hasn’t been in politics of Augusta, they don’t know these people.   But, Pattie Aho.  Patricia Aho, who is the Commissioner, of the (Maine) Department of Environmental Protection, appointed by him, after the first one he appointed there was some conflict of interest.  She was for years, an attack Lawyer for…I’m trying to remember the name of the Portland Law Firm she was with.  Anyway, she was an attack Lawyer against activists and for the dumps.  That’s what she did.  For years.  So she gets appointed to head up the (Maine,) Department of Environmental Protection.  Which again, is another thing that’s extremely ludicrous."

 

 

 

 

 

Q :  “I don’t mean to cut you off.  Did you say she was actually a Lawyer for the Dumps?”

 

 

 

A :  “She was a, yes.  She was a Lawyer for the Law Firm…I can’t think of it.  It’s on the Web.  You can look her up.  She was a Lawyer for years for this Portland Law Firm, that was the legal counsel and fought us activists, on dump sites.  That’s what she did.  For years.  I ought to know.  22 years ago she was here in Washington County on the wrong side of a Dump fight, which I lead for three years.  With a dump that was proposed for Township 30.  Way out in the woods.  They thought we were stupid and wouldn’t understand what it was, and what they wanted to do.  And behind it all were the guys from New Jersey.  O.K.?  That’s who the company really was.  They had a couple of ‘stooges,’ from Maine who were their front men.  But, she was in there against us, against the people of Washington County fighting.  She wasn’t the only one.  There was a whole bunch of Lawyers, that the bad guys had…”

 

  She also said:

 

 

 

But any way, the Head of the (Maine,) D.E.P. was an attack dog Lawyer working for Dumpers and Garbage Dumpers before she got appointed to head up the (Maine’s) Department of Environmental Protection.  You can look up on the website.  Just look her up on your Maine.gov.  And look up D.E.P. and look her up, you know, and you can get the name of the Law Firm, which I can’t remember.

 

 

 

Later she identified that Law Firm as Pierce Atwood.  She also went onto to say:

 

 

 

“…the big dump proposal for Township 30, that we fought back 20 years ago.  We beat them out of here.  They spent 3 ½  Million dollars and $75,000 all collected from the people of Washington County and we kept them out of here.  But it was a trouble for 3 whole entire years of my life!  About 3.  24 hours a day.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Subject: Maine DEP questions

Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2012 15:52:17 -0500

From: Samantha.DePoy-Warren@maine.gov

 

CC: Peter.J.Rogers@maine.gov

 

 

 

Doug,

 

 

 

Peter Roberts in the Governor’s Office forwarded me your email.

 

 

 

There weren’t any questions in there, so there is nothing to respond to. I’ll reiterate what I said on the phone and that is that the department is not prepared to talk about the public benefit determination application for Juniper Ridge until we issue our determination on January 31, at which point we’ll release a statement.

 

 

 

As for your questions about Commissioner Patricia Aho, she has been an attorney, though she was not at Pierce Atwood at the time Ms. Oden is referencing, for nearly three decades and in that work, served a variety of clients. I’ll again reiterate what I said on the phone and that is that Commissioner Aho has served our state at the forefront of environmental advocacy for over 25 years, working each day to do exactly what she does at the department today and that is to further a strong and healthy environment and a robust and sustainable economy. The Legislature’s decision to confirm her appointment as Commissioner by Governor LePage was unanimous and that speaks to the reputation for integrity, leadership and balance that the Commissioner has come to be regarded for here in Maine. 

 

 

 

If you are interested in learning more about the Commissioner, I’d refer you to this profile published recently in the Maine Today Media papers: http://www.pressherald.com/news/DEP-chief-strives-for-striking-balance--.html, as well as the Commissioner’s bio (which I’ve also pasted below) on our website: http://www.maine.gov/dep/commissioners-office/aho_bio.html.

 

 

 

Hope that’s helpful.

 

 

 

Best,

 

Sam

 

 

 

Patricia W. Aho, Commissioner

 

Commissioner Pattie Aho, a native of Boothbay Harbor who graduated from Nasson College and earned a law degree from Western New England College, has been in the forefront of environmental advocacy for over 25 years and has been active on many of the critical issues facing Maine, including energy efficiency, greenhouse gas and petroleum regulation. Admitted to the Maine Bar, she most recently served as an attorney at Pierce Atwood and is Maine DEP’s primary liaison with both the Maine Legislature and the Governor’s Office, as well as representing the agency on several state and regional committees, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

 

Pattie lives in Newcastle with her husband, Ron, and has a lengthy commitment to community service, having served on town boards and committees in both Boothbay Harbor and Newcastle and on the boards of the Lincoln County Community Theater and Orchestra and the Maine Tourism Association. She has also been honored with the prestigious Athena Award from the Kennebec County Chamber of Commerce for her advocacy on behalf of the business community.

 

 

 

------------------------------------

 

Samantha DePoy-Warren

 

Spokesperson/Director of Communications & Education

 

Maine Department of Environmental Protection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subject: e mail to you/ preview of Part 5

Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2012 11:43:58 -0500

From: Peter.J.Rogers@maine.gov

 

Hi Doug,

 

I spoke with Sam again reference the story. Sam tells me she has been open to answering any specific questions about the department and its purview that you provided but cannot go point-counterpoint for 4500 words due to time constraints. She feels for you to allege that the department is censoring information or saying you could not ask certain questions is simply false. She feels she did provide you a statement on the Commissioner.

 

 

 

Peter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email sent to Peter Rodgers to Forward to the Director of Maine Fish and Wildlife  for an e mail reponse before she resigned:

 

 

 

To: peter.j.rogers@maine.gov

Subject: e mail for Edie Smith Maine inland fish and wildlife.

Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 11:12:45 -0500

 

Nancy : “…That there’s a warning in the front of the book that the Maine Fish and Wildlife Department hands out to fishermen with all the rules on fish.  It’s basically, ‘Don’t eat the fish in Maine’s Lakes, Rivers, Streams,’ and so on.  Pregnant women not at all.  Adult men, maybe once a week.  Certain species that shouldn’t be eaten at all.  And because they have Dioxins and other dangerous chemicals in them.  And incinerators, when they burn, regular garbage, -everybody throws things in the garbage.  Most people still don’t recycle.  Disgusting as that sounds, it hasn’t been made easy enough for them yet.  When you burn plastics in particular, that synthesizes Dioxins being released and they tell you that: ‘Oh, we capture the ash before it goes out the Chimney.’  Yes, they capture the visible part of the ash.  But minute particles get through.  Of course they do.  And they float out onto the land.  Onto Farmland.  People breath them in.  And those minute particles contain not only Dioxins, but, heavy metals which never go away.  Like lead and Arsenic, and Mercury.  Such that all of this over the years has landed in our Lakes.  Not just incinerators in Maine, but incinerators in the Mid-West.  Which have really tall chimneys.  So that it blows into the atmospheric winds and ends up here, because we are called ‘the tailpipe.’  A lot of it ends up here.  So our Lakes, Rivers, Streams and Coastal waters have Dioxins, heavy metals, pesticides and all sorts of things that are released by burning people’s garbage.  And that is the worst of it of course.  There’s ash that sometimes blows.  The chimney blows and the ‘fly ash,’ which is the stuff at the top, that’s really the toxic stuff, blows our all over the communities that they are in.

 

 

 

 

 

E Mail sent to Peter Rogers to forward to Ken Flecter at the Maine Department of Energy for an e mail response :

 

 

 

To: peter.j.rogers@maine.gov

Subject: e mail for Ken Flecter department of energy

Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 11:18:19 -0500

 

A :  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.  So we’re all opposed to that too.  Because, that’s another corporate scam.

 

 

 

A : "That's a great way of putting it. Having Maine as a resource colony. they just replaced this huge 245,000 Volt sub-station in Benton, with a like 120,000 Volt...I'm not sure of the number of volts. They are claiming Maine isn't producing enough energy. They are claiming Maine is not making enough energy in the Legislator. They are replacing a sub-station with one that uses less power. they are not using that much power, because there are no jobs that are using the power. In Benton, I'm not sure if that substation covers 3 or 4 Counties."

 

E Mail to Peter Rogers to forward to Maine Pesticides Control Board for e mail response:

 

 

 

 

 

To: peter.j.rogers@maine.gov

Subject: last email. This one is for Pesticide control board.

Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 11:21:43 -0500

 

‘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.’

 

 

 

 Email from Maine Pesticides Control Board, sent before Peter Rodgers left his post and Adrienne communicated with me.

 

 

 

Hi Doug,

 

 

 

Sorry I didn’t get back to you last week regarding the interview comments. I will contact you as soon as I hear back from the Governor’s office.

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

Paul

 

 

 

Paul Schlein

Public Education Specialist

Maine Board of Pesticides Control

28 State House Station

Augusta ME 04333-0028

207-287-2731 Phone

207-287-7548 Fax

http://www.thinkfirstspraylast.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E Mail to Adrienne Bennett Governor Paul LePage's Press Secretary:

 

 

 

 

 

This is the e mail you wanted me to send about setting up a time next week about how your office is now going to be interacting with myself due to the online magazine I conduct interviews with and about the State departments I interact with.  Just a reminder.  I only need interviews with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to set the record straight on their end on what has been said about them so far in the Occupy Augusta Interviews.  I also need Paul over at the Maine Pesticide Control Board to make a statement about the Statement Nancy Oden said about his department and Ken Fletcher at the Maine Department of Energy to comment about how Energy is being exported out of state and I'm done.  (I realize that the Commissioner of the Maine State Police would not want to make a comment at all and that's alright.)  

           If your office does not want me to try and get any more interviews with the last three that I need, that's alright.  I got enough e mails from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine Pesticide Control Board to place in Part five of the Occupy Augusta Interviews with a disclaimer of being shut off with further interaction with State Departments.  If you wish to talk about myself not being able to interview State Representives and State Senators, then yes, we can set up a meeting.  If you just need to confirm what I have already stated in this e mail you can save yourself some time and just send an email to confirm that our co-operation will be coming to an end.  I understand if the format of ArchEnemys online magazine has people feel uncomfortable to invest the time to conduct great interviews like George MacDonald gave at the State Planning Office. 

        I do want to say the Peter Rogers was great in trying to set up interviews with the remainding 3 department representives that I mentioned in the first paragraph.  I do wish him the best as the new Director of the State Planning Office.  I am sorry that  the other Director of the State Planning Office was arrested for drunk driving and had to leave his office top be replace by Peter who was planning on resigning from State Government and had a few days left on his notice as Governor LePage's Communications Director. 

       Well I believe with all the e mails I sent Peter and he told me, two days ago that he forwarded those emails to you, that a pretty clear picture is presented on what will be printed about Samantha over at D.E.P..  Sorry it couldn't be salvage, but I did make the effort to provide her the opportunity to do so.  I understand if Peter and Ken don't want to say anything in their defense, if they have nothing to say in thier departments defense.  If you still want to see me in a face to face meeting next week, that's great.  If not, because I've covered everything in this email, that's fine.  I'll just reprint this in part 5 of the Occupy Augusta Interviews so our readers will know why I don't have the freedom to confirm anything anymore from State of Maine Governmental Departments.  This way if you no longer want me knocking on your office door again, I won't.  If there is anything else like talking to the House Democratic or Republic press secretary's or anything else, feel free to send it in an email.  Again, there is only a few State Representives and Senators that I need to talk to get interviews with at this point.  If I missed anything just include it in your email to confirm you got this. 

 

 

                                                                                                                                 Thank You

 

 

                                                                                                                                  Doug Papa

 

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 Magazine.com

 

                                  Reporting on behalf of one of our advertisers,

 

                                                    ArchEnemys online Magazine 

 

 

 

Email recieved from Sean Mahoney

 

 

 

 

 

Doug – here is letter sent to DEP as well as one sent to FERC.

 

 

 

Sean

 

 

 

 

 

Patricia Aho, Commissioner January 3, 2012

 

Maine Department of Environmental Protection

 

17 State House Station

 

Augusta, ME 04333-0017

 

Re: Flagstaff Storage Project #L-19313-32-G-N

 

Dear Commissioner Aho:

 

We have finished a review of records provided by your Department pursuant to a December 9,

 

2011, Freedom of Access Act request from our organization, the Conservation Law Foundation.

 

That review leads us to conclude that the Department, under your direction, intentionally waived

 

the State’s rights under section 401 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1341(a), to certify that

 

the relicensing of Florida Power & Light’s Flagstaff Storage Project meets Maine’s water quality

 

standards. That conclusion is contrary to the assertions of the Department’s spokeswoman, Ms.

 

DePoy-Warren, who publicly stated that the failure to act in a timely manner on the FPL

 

application was neither intentional nor insidious. While we will never definitively know about

 

the latter, as set forth below, we believe the failure to act was certainly intentional.

 

As you know, for the past several years, a new license for the Flagstaff Storage Project, #L-

 

19313-32-G-N, had been stayed by FERC based on the denial of the Section 401 water quality

 

certification by the Board of Environmental Protection in 2004, a decision appealed and upheld

 

by the Maine Law Court in 2007. Since then, FPL had filed an application for a water quality

 

certification for the Flagstaff Storage Project as a placeholder while it worked with the

 

Department staff to identify a means to meet the water quality standards identified by the Board

 

in its original order. The Clean Water Act provides that if an application for water quality

 

certification is not acted upon within a year of its submittal, the State is deemed to waive its right

 

to make or to withhold such a certification. To avoid such a waiver, the Department’s practice

 

had been to request FPL to withdraw and refile the application. Failing that, the Department

 

would deny the application. FPL, as it had with its other hydroelectric projects, would withdraw

 

its application for this project and then re-file, thereby “re-starting the clock.” (This is a practice

 

followed not just by FPL but by most other owners of hydropower projects seeking water quality

 

certification from Maine.) Thus, FPL filed its water quality certification application for the

 

Flagstaff Storage Project with the Department on November 15, 2009, then withdrew and refiled

 

its application on November 16, 2010.

 

As you also know, action by the Department on water quality certifications applications had for

 

many years been coordinated by a longtime Department employee, Dana Murch. Mr. Murch

 

announced that he would retire at the end of the summer in 2011 and documents produced in

 

response to our FOAA request establish that he began preparing for the transfer of his

 

responsibilities to other employees at the Department in early summer. Specifically, in June, Mr.

 

Murch and senior managers at the Department, including Michael Mullen, current head of the

 

Department’s Land and Water Bureau, scheduled a series of meetings to discuss the transition of

 

his work load. These meetings specifically included discussion of the Flagstaff Storage Project

 

water quality certification application. Indeed, Mr Murch prepared a memorandum to the file

 

dated July 13, 2011, concerning the history and status of the Flagstaff Storage Project and

 

specifically noting that “Unless DEP acts to approve or deny the pending application for water

 

quality certification on or before November 15, 2011, certification will be deemed waived by

 

operation of law.”

 

On June 17, 2011, you were named acting Commissioner of the Department, subsequently

 

nominated to take that position permanently on September 9, 2011 and confirmed on September

 

28, 2011 by the Senate. The documents produced by the Department in response to our FOAA

 

request establish that shortly after you were named acting Commissioner, Pierce Atwood’s Matt

 

Manahan, a partner at your former law firm and FPL’s attorney, contacted you to discuss FPL’s

 

Flagstaff and Brassua Storage Projects and requested a meeting with you, Mr. Murch and

 

representatives of FPL. A meeting that you organized was set for August 5, 2011 at your office.

 

On the following Monday, August 8, 2011, you sent an email to Mr. Mullen (delivered at 8:11

 

a.m. and read at 8:40 a.m.) stating the following – “Hi Mike – We need to talk about Flagstaff

 

and Brassawa [sic] when you get a chance. Thanks! Pattie.”

 

A subsequent memorandum from Mr. Murch dated August 12, 2011 to DEP staff, including Mr.

 

Mullen (who was by then overseeing all staffing of hydropower projects for the Department)

 

attached a spreadsheet that listed the staff that would be overseeing the various hydropower

 

projects in the state. Ms. Dawn Hallowell was listed as being responsible for the Flagstaff

 

Storage Project but it is our understanding that, at the direction of the Commissioner’s office,

 

Ms. Hallowell never received that file.

 

Thus, by the time that Mr. Murch retired on August 31, 2011, the documents strongly support the

 

following: you had been briefed on the status of the water quality certification application for the

 

Flagstaff Storage Project by the applicant and its attorney and had met with Mr. Mullen, the head

 

of the lead bureau on that application; and that you and your staff were aware of the options

 

available to the State with respect to the application. This makes Ms. DuPoy-Warren’s

 

statements of December 9, 2011 that the failure to act on the application in a timely manner was

 

due to reorganization efforts and changed assignments at best completely uninformed and at

 

worst deliberately false.

 

Even more troubling is the conclusion one can logically draw that after you met with the FPL

 

and its attorney, you made the decision to not act on the application and thereby waive the

 

State’s rights to certify whether the Flagstaff Storage Project’s new license meets our water

 

quality standards. While the Department is legally authorized to make such a decision under the

 

Clean Water Act, the manner in which this decision was made, particularly after the State had

 

invested significant resources over the last 7 years in defending the right to determine when a

 

project does or does not meet our water quality standards, and the subsequent response by the

 

Department when the waiver came to light, is unacceptable.

 

We feel strongly that the documents we have seen to date support our conclusion. If, however,

 

we have not reviewed all of the relevant documents or there are other facts we are not aware of,

 

we would be most interested in meeting with you to discuss them. If we are wrong and this was

 

indeed a case of a blown deadline, then the Department should be aggressively acting to ensure

 

that FERC condition the license for the Flagstaff Storage Project to ensure that Maine’s water

 

quality standards are met and instituting procedures to prevent such failures in the future. If our

 

current understanding of the situation does not change, we believe that at a minimum you should

 

clarify that the Department decision to waive its rights to determine if the Flagstaff Storage

 

Project met Maine’s water quality standards was in fact intentional and should include an

 

apology to the stakeholders who were counting on the State to exercise its rights under the Clean

 

Water Act.

 

Respectfully,

 

Sean Mahoney

 

Vice President and Director

 

CLF Maine

 

cc: Peter J. Carney

 

 

 

The following is a reprinted email with the official logo of the                      United States Environmental Protection Agency Stamped onto the e  mail.

 

Thanks to the C.F.L. for sending this along with permission to reprint an Open letter to Patricia Aho.

 

 

 

 UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

 

                                                Region 1

 

                               5 Post Office Square, Suite 100

 

                                  Boston, Ma 02109-3912

 

 

 

 

 

 Via E-File

 

 

 

 January 4, 2012

 

 

 

 Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary

 

 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

 

 888 First Street, NE

 

 Washington, DC 20426

 

 

 

               Reference: FERC #2612-019 Flagstaff Storage Project

 

 

 

          Dear Ms. Bose:

 

 

 

          This letter is in response to the recent waiver of Maine’s Section    401 authority for the Flagstaff Project license.  The waiver was the  result of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s (“DEP”) failure to act to either approve or deny the pending application for water quality certification on or before November 15, 2011.  A Maine DEP spokesperson reported that DEP “lost sight” of the Flagstaff issue because of recent staffing changes.  EPA has a strong interest in ensuring that the hydropower project is licensed and operated in a manner that is consistent with federal and state environmental requirements, including state water quality standards.  Given the important water quality standards issues associated with this project, summarized below, EPA requests that the license stay be continues until a proper evaluation under the appropriate state water quality standards has been conducted.

 

 

 

          EPA has been involved in the environmental reviews of the Flagstaff Project since at least 1995, when the original owner of the project requested water quality certification.  In those and subsequent comments to the project applicant, ME DEP, and the Federal Regulatory Commission (“FERC)1, EPA has repeatedly raised concerns over the project’s impacts on aquatic life, including cold water fisheries; wetlands and wildlife;

 

 

 

         ________________________

 

         1 EPA comment letters include 9/18/95 comments to Central Maine Power on Initial Document;  1/15/1998 comments to FERC on Draft Environmental Assessment; and 11/10/ 2003 comments to Maine DEP on Draft Water Quality Certification.

 

 

 

          (End of page 1.)

 

 

 

          Mercury levels; downstream uses (Dead River); and recreational flow releases.  As EPA understands the water quality certification history of the project2, each year from 1996 through 2002, Maine DEP requested that the owner withdraw and refile the certification request based on an evaluation that excessive lake drawdowns (24 feet and more) would result in the violation of Maine’s water quality standards for aquatic life and habitat.  On November 14, 2003, Maine DEP issued a water quality certification, at odds with longstanding DEP staff evaluations and recommendations which have been well documented since 1993.3  the certification was subsequently to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection.

 

 

 

          EPA’s December 22, 2003 letter to the Board of Environmental Protection regarding DEP’s 2003 water quality certification for Flagstaff points out that the application of criteria that are less stringent than are necessary to protect the Clean Water Act goal uses must be preceded by a Use Attainability Analysis (UAA) that evaluates and supports such an action.  A UAA involves the assessment of alternatives and their costs that (1) provide for use attainment without a downgrade of designated uses, or (2) provide the highest level of use attainment feasible, if a downgrade appears justified.  The UAA may be used as the supporting basis to remove or lower a designated use (or adopt less protective criteria) if the analysis demonstrates that attaining the designated use is not feasible due to one or more or the factors at 40 C.F.R.  (Note to readers-fancy symbol for subsection appears here.) 131.10(g).  A UAA for a hydropower project would include the evaluation of a variety of operating scenarios to determine which alternatives can provide the highest feasible level of use attainment for a particular designated use.  Economic and social factors may also be included in the evaluation of what use attainment is feasible.  EPA also explained that a UAA in the case of Flagstaff Lake would not need to focus on whether it is possible to attain a “natural” aquatic habitat.  Rather, the UAA would focus on the attainability of the Class C criteria, which allow for some change from natural habitat.

 

 

 

          The Maine Board of Environmental Protection, in part citing information provided by EPA, denied the Flagstaff water quality certification in July 2004 without prejudice.  The Board found that the DEP should either obtain EPA approval of the recently enacted Resolves 2003, Chapter 37, or the applicant should conduct a UAA.  This certification denial was upheld by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on July 26, 2007.  In a unanimous decision affirming the Board’s denial of water quality certification of the project, the Court found that that the Board’s action was “reasonable and entitled to

 

 

 

        ______________________________

 

       2 111 FERC (Note to readers backwards fancy “P” symbol here.)  61,104

 

       3 References: (1) ME DEP/WB internal memo dated May 11, 1993.  (2) ME DEP/DEA internal memo dated September 25, 1995.  3)ME DEP letter to CMP dated November 7, 1995.  4)ME DEP/DEA letter to CMP dated February 14, 1997.  (5) ME DEP/DEA internal memo dated November 6, 2003.

 

 

 

          (End of page 2.)    

 

 

 

 

 

           deference.”  (On July 30, 2007 Maine DEP e-filed a copy of the Courts decision and an explanatory letter with FERC and the service list for the Flagstaff project.4)

 

 

 

           In November 2009 FPL Energy Maine Hydro LLC (FPL Energy) filed a new application for water quality certification.  DEP reviewed the application and stated its position that the drawdown of Flagstaff Lake would have to be limited to about 8 feet to meet Maine’s existing, EPA approved, water quality standards for the lake.  DEP advised the applicant that any drawdown in excess of this amount would require a UAA.  On November 16, 2010 FPL Energy withdrew and refilled its pending 401 application, which established a new one year period for DEP to act.

 

 

 

           FPL Energy (or its predecessor) has been aware of the need to do a UAA for over a decade.  EPA has offered several times to assist the State and the company in a UAA effort.  Based on correspondence between the DEP and the applicant in 2010, it appeared that movement was being made towards some resolution of the issues, before the DEP “lost sight”  of Flagstaff’s water quality certification in 20115.

 

 

 

           We believe that the recent waiver of water quality certification for the Flagstaff project would allow operation of the project in a way that is not consistent with Maine’s water quality standards, and is not consistent with Maine’s current inclusion of Flagstaff Lake on the State’s (Note to readers fancy symbol for subsection here.)  305 (b) list as an impaired water for aquatic life uses due to drawdowns.  Absent a UAA which justifies the currently proposed drawdown regime of the Flagstaff Project, we believe that project operation as proposed would not be consistent with state water quality standards.

 

 

 

           In the currently stayed Order issuing a New License for the Project (106 FERC fancy backwards “P” here 62,232)  the Director of the FERC Office of Energy Projects concluded that the license as proposed, with the water quality certification conditions, staff recommendations and other conditions, will be best adapted for the comprehensive development of the project for beneficial public uses pursuant to the Federal Power Act.  As discussed above, however, the Maine 401 certification relied on by FERC in its analysis pursuant to Sections 4(e) and 10(j) of the FPA was subsequently found to be inconsistent with Maine water quality standards.  Hence, EPA believes that FERC should not lift the stay of the license but rather should reanalyze the project effects against the applicable water quality standards for the project, consistent with the Board of Environmental Protection’s articulation of the meaning of those standards in its denial of the 401 certification.

 

 

 

           4 Letter to Kimberly Bose, Secretary FERC from Dana Murch, Maine DEP dated July 30, 2007.

 

           5 Maine DEP letter to FPL dated November 17, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

             (End of page 3)

 

 

 

 

 

           Finally, it is important to note that the FERC licensing process is not, and cannot legally substitute for, a UAA under the Clean Water Act.  Absent a UAA which justifies the currently proposed drawdown regime of the Flagstaff Project, we believe that project operation as proposed would not be consistent with state water quality standards.  While the information developed pursuant to FERC’s process may be useful in a UAA evaluation, only the State has the statutory mandate to implement a UAA process and determine attainability of water quality standards, and only EPA has the authority to approve water quality standards amendments that result from a UAA.

 

 

 

           If you have any questions about this letter, please contact me at (617) 918-1561, or Ralph Abele of my staff at (617) 918-1629.

 

 

 

            Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             Stephen J. Silva, Chief

 

             Water Quality Branch

 

 

 

            cc.      FERC service list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           (End of page 4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                           CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

 

 

 

             I hereby certify that I will, within the timeframe and means established in 18 C.F.R. (Note to readers fancy symbol for subsection here.) 385.2010, serve the accompanying materials upon each person designated on the official service list compiled by the Secretary in this proceeding (P-2612), unless such person is no longer a representative of the party to be served, in which case I will serve the accompanying materials on an alternate representative of that party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                 Dated at Boston, Massachusetts on January 4, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

                                           Stephen J. Silva

 

 

 

                              Chief, Water Quality Branch

 

                               EPA-New England, Region 1

 

                               5 Post Office Square, Suite 100

 

                                          Boston, MA 02109

 

 

 

               (End of Email)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

George MacDonald Interview Maine State Planning Office.

 

Q :  “O.K., this is January 5th.  I’m speaking with George MacDonald here at the State Planning Office.  George I interviewed, Bob Duchesne from House District 13.  I told Jim Freeman from the Occupy movement, whom I interviewed yesterday what he said, and Jim raised some interesting points.  Now I’m first going to the Bob Duchesne interview.  ‘He did share something he’s always wanted to do.  I told him how you followed a dump truck without stopping at 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 camera.’

 

      Jim Freemans response was: ‘It was not I.  there is a few people that are doing that.  They stopped at the first rest area when you come in Maine.  The welcome to Maine, there’s a big 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.’

 

   Since the State Planning Office is in charge of checking the trucks to make sure the processing has been done at K.T.I., how do you respond to that allegation?”

 

 

 

A :  “I have been very aggressive in the past and tried to identify what is in the loads that are delivered to Juniper Ridge.  A number of people have told me that there have been loads directly transported from out of State to Juniper Ridge.  I’ve spoken with drivers.  No one’s confirmed it.  What we have at the Juniper Ridge, is a manifest form.  I’m going to give you a copy of that now.  Each load that comes into the Landfill, is required to complete this form and it identifies the types of waste and the source of the waste.  And the driver has to identify by his signature that the above is true.  I’ve talked to drivers.  I’ve asked them and no one has admitted to me that the load has come directly from out of State.  I’ve heard many rumors.  I’ve spoken to the drivers.  No one’s been able to confirm it.  So that’s where it stands.  If somebody has verifiable information, Please give it to me.  I’ve spoken with the State Police about doing an audit.  Doing a survey following trucks that come into the State and they’re willing to work with us, should there be an issue that we discover.  No issue has been discovered to warrant putting those resources to work at this point  and time.  If anyone does have a video, I’d would be glad to see it, and in the operating services agreement, which Casella signed with the State to operate the Landfill: ‘Any waste generated outside the State is excluded as an acceptable waste at the Landfill.’  So if it came from out of State, there are in violation of their agreement.  Which means they are in default of the agreement.”

 

 

 

Q :  “Now when you said you spoke to the State Police was the Steve McCausland, or someone else?”

 

 

 

A :  “No. It’s one of the Lieutenants, over here at the State headquarters.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K., do you know which one it is?”

 

 

 

A :  “I have to go back to my files.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K..  I was just asking because Steve’s not returning my phone calls or replies…”

 

 

 

A :  “No, it’s not Steve McCausland that I’ve been speaking with.  I’ve been speaking with one of the traffic…Ummm…One of the State Police officers involved with Traffic Control in the State.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K., and on a related subject, I told Jim Freeman the following:  ‘I read a story.  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 it was going, he said: ‘Don’t worry, it’s going to Maine.’

 

   It gets more interesting, because Jim Freeman gave an equally shocking reply.  His reply was: ‘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 a little bit.  And it just dribbles our 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.’  Whether this allegation is true or false, would the State Planning Office even consider finding out, through their oversight of the Juniper Ridge Landfill, to prove if it’s happening or not?”

 

 

 

A :  “So…Let me understand what you’re saying here.  Someone is saying that barrels of toxic chemicals are being allowed to drip onto the Maine Highways?”

 

 

 

Q :  “Ah, Jim Freemans response was:  ‘There’s a lot of toxic chemicals, and I was told at one point, they dump 55 gallon drums, of toxic chemicals into the back of the container.  And then they leave the back door open a little bit, and it dribbles out along the Interstate.  And it gets hard and evaporates or it gets into the streams along the Interstate.  That’s what someone told Jim Freeman at one point.”

 

 

 

A :  “Is there any proof to that?”

 

 

 

Q :  “he did say, ‘it was very hard to prove.’  Ah, so again, whether this allegation is true or false, I don’t know.  I’m not saying it’s true or false.  I just have to basically interview people on what they say, and then try to verify that information; or get a response from other people.  Because I’m completely neutral about this to be honest with you.  I, I don’t…”

 

 

 

A :  “O.K., yup, no, that’s fine.  Ummm…you know if someone can actually prove that, that is happening, the appropriate agency to report to is Department of Environmental protection. That would be considered a toxic waste spill.  They have a spill response team.  They have a process in place.  They have trained people to handle those situations.  And if they should find someone who is violating the law, and that sounds like it’s a definite violation.  They have the ability to prosecute.  So that…If someone does know that’s happening and has veritable information, or proof, or strong suspicion, that such a thing is occurring; they should contact the Department of Environmental Protection Spill.  They have a 1-800 number you can call and they’ll follow up on it.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K..O.K..  I’ll take your word for it, because I tried contacting Pattie Aho about an interview and she hasn’t even returned my phone calls.  I’m not even sure, (Laughs)  if I would get a response to something like that.”

 

 

 

A :  “You might wasn’t to try…ummm…looking at their website.  They have a spill response number to call, and that might be a better number for you to try.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K..  Well, it’s not me.  It’s just our readers.”

 

 

 

A :  “No, no.  I just understand that, but the Commissioner is very busy, and maybe there’s someone down in the Department that can answer your question.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K..  O.K..  And adding to that, another statement I made was:  ‘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 Casellas’ 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.  Now Jims’ response was:  ‘Let them go to court, because we’re going to win this one.  Because we can prove that it’s not really being recycled.’  How difficult would it be for the State Planning Office to either back up or disprove this statement?”

 

 

 

A :  “I’m not really sure what his statement is.”

 

 

 

Q :  “Ahh…Well, ‘Let Casella go to court,’  Ahh…’because we can…win this.’  Basically if Casella sues the State, Ahh…because they can…O.K., let me back up here.  Another, statement I made was according to our sources Casella went into a 30 year contract with the state to the tune of $26 million dollars.”

 

 

 

A :  “O.K…can we stop there?”

 

 

 

Q :  “Sure.”

 

 

 

A :  “Let’s address that.  Yes, Casella did pay the State $26 million dollars for their right and privilege to operate the Juniper Ridge Landfill.  That agreement is this (taps large 3 ring binder with each sheet in a plastic cover, making it inches in appearance.  Maybe four or five inches by memory.)  document there.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K.. and if the rules change, I guess their lawyers are preparing for a fight to keep the state from changing the rules that made the deal great in the first place.”

 

 

 

A :  “O.K..  I’m not sure what rules Casella’s attorneys are preparing to fight.”

 

 

 

Q :  “Ah, ‘that the state moves to restrict construction demolition debris.’”

 

 

 

A :  “O.K..  I’m not familiar with what the state maybe doing with that.  Did he…This is Jim Freeman?”

 

 

 

Q :  “Yeah, Ah, I guess there’s some legislature, that Bob Duchesne, also said, there is some that there’s some legislation that they’re going to make some moves to try and restrict Construction Demolition Debris coming into the state by making it A)  Making it more expensive.”

 

 

 

A :  “O.K..”

 

 

 

Q :  “And, ah, other measures too.  But they can’t do anything in this legislative period because all the bills are set.  So it will have to be next year.”

 

 

 

A :  “Oh, I didn’t know that.  Ummm…I do know that this is a concern amount the amount of material going to K.T.I., from out of state.  Ummm…what Casella is doing there is in accordance to D.E.P., rules and regulations, and the license they have.  Casella has with D.E.P..  That is a waste wood processing facility.  And they are required to accept material and process it, and produce at least a 50% recoverable recycling product.  At least half of what comes in has to come out as recyclable or recoverable, and they’re able to do that.  Because otherwise D.E.P. will pull their license.  So, I can see from a business standpoint, Casella might be concerned about legislation impacting their business plan.  But, beyond that, I’m not aware of any language that’s been drafted or presented, that would impact that operation.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K..”

 

 

 

A :  “So and again, you said it might be next session.”

 

 

 

Q :  “Right.  That’s what Bob said, and Jims’ response was, ah, basically: ‘If they do sue the state, let them go to court, because we’re going to win this one, because we can prove it’s not really being recycled.’  However, you know, I don’t know what Jims’, you know…”

 

 

 

A :  “Yeah.”

 

 

 

Q :  “…evidence is and so forth.  But my question to you is: ‘how difficult would it be for the State Planning Office to either back up, or disprove his statement.’  In other words, that statement you made about K.T.I., doing 50% of the recycling.  How easy would it be to back up that statement?”

 

 

 

A :  “Well, that is all data presented by the operation and confirmed by the reports they submit to D.E.P..  So it would be easy enough for us, to just say:  ‘The numbers are, what the numbers are.’  And I know D.E.P.  and their processing facility rules and regulations allow for ‘fine material,’ that’s too small to be burned in a bio-mass boiler.  Which is the intended recipient of the processed wood.  Wood that is too fine to be burned, is considered, ‘Alternative daily cover,’ at Juniper Ridge, and the rules for the processing facility consider that to be recycled.  So, as long as they are able to meet that 50% threshold, which includes recovering the concrete and the metal, that’s included with the Construction/ Demo debris and the ‘fines.’  That’s an issue that has to be discussed, in relation to the rules and regulations of the Department.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K., and my next question is, ah, now is it an incinerator burning at 2,000 degrees and higher at all times; or is it a boiler running at the same temperature?  Ah, Jim Freeman said:  ‘Most of the time, it’s not and it forms dioxins.’  Ah…I know Bob Duchesne says: ‘It’s not true.  It’s actually running at 2,000 degrees, pretty much all of the time.  So no dioxins form.  Dioxins actually form at a lower temperature.’  But, that’s why I got the question.  Because the people at the Penobscot Nation…Ah…the two people in charge of the …One’s in charge of the Water program…Ah…Quality Director, and the other was the Air Quality Director.  They say, it’s a boiler.  So, is it an incinerator, or is it a boiler, is it both?”

 

 

 

A :  “Which facility is this?”

 

 

 

Q :  “Ah…the one up in Old Town.”

 

 

 

A :  “the one in Old Town is a bio-mass…Ah…operator.  Operation.  It’s, Ah, boiler operation.  Ummm…. Wood is pumped carried by conveyer, into the boiler.  Heat is recovered.  Ummm…”

 

 

 

Q :  “Is it burning at 2,000 degrees at all times?”

 

 

 

 

 

A :  “I don’t know what the temperature is, that it’s burning at.  I’m not involved in that aspect of the program up there.  You can talk to someone at the Air Bureau at D.E.P., to find out.  Because there is an Air emissions license for the bio-mass boiler up at the Old Town facility.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K., that’s fair enough.  Ah…Ralph Coffman stated at the meeting that took place at the Black Bear Inn.  Were you at that meeing by any chance that took place?”

 

 

 

A :  “ I was there.”

 

 

 

Q :  “You were there?”

 

 

 

A :  “Yes.”

 

 

 

Q :  “And ah, he said, ‘ I saw test well 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, the two wells will not pick that up 3 feet apart.’  He also said: ‘It’s a swamp.’  I said that to Jim Freeman and he said: ‘You put wells 3 feet apart and it is a swamp, 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 the Alton Bog.  It’s kind of a weird place in Maine.  You don’t have bogs that size.’  If there are issues with the test wells being underwater in a swamp, how can it be in the public’s interest to expand it?  Of even consider expanding it?  I should say it the right way.”

 

 

 

A :  “O.K., you’re talking about the Juniper Ridge Landfill?”

 

 

 

Q :  “Yes.”

 

 

 

A :  “You’re talking about test wells, within the property?”

 

 

 

Q :  “Yes.  Correct.”

 

 

 

A :  “O.K..  I’m not aware…There are no test wells that I’m aware of, that are under water.   Ummm….I go to the landfill on a regular basis.  There is a stream that goes by the (sounds like he said ‘toe.’) of the landfill.  We are back from that.”

 

 

 

Q :  “Is it located in a swamp?  Like these people are alleging?”

 

 

 

A :  “The ah, I’m going to use my hands to describe.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K..”

 

 

 

A :  “The Juniper Ridge Landfill, is…on a Drummond.  It’s a Geological formation.  It’s a rounded, slightly rounded hill.  And on the South and South West corner, of the Landfill there’s a stream, that runs by.  It’s a very meandering slow stream, with boggy area on both sides.  That is below where the landfill is.  The landfill sits above that.  The landfill hasn’t really been excavated into the soil.  There’s been a slight depression made, but most of the landfill sits above normal ground.  So, it’s not in the swamp itself.  A lot of people are concerned that landfills are in swamps.  We want landfills to be situated on soils that are tight.  That don’t allow water to drain through.  Because we don’t want ground water to be contaminated.  If the landfill the landfill did leak, that’s a concern.  That’s why we have a clay layer underneath the plastic liner, at the landfill.  That’s why we have a leachate collection system, under that liner, to collect anything.  So, I’m not quite sure where they are talking about, because I’m not aware of any wells, that are submerged…”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.k., and…”

 

 

 

A :  “I am not aware of the landfill actually being in the swamp either.  Because we can’t.  It’s back away from that.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K..  Ah, well I guess he said in a swamp.  But the other point was:  ‘If two test wells are 3 feet apart and there is a fracture in the system, the tow wells will not pick it up.’  Have you had any complaints about that?”

 

 

 

A :  “No.  No one has raised that issue to me.  I’m not a ground water specialist.  There are people at D.E.P., who are.  I look at the results from the ground water tests, that are completed three times a year up there.  But so far I’m not aware of any situation, that you have mentioned here about ‘fractures,’ between the pipes.”

 

 

 

Q :  “Right, I’m not either.  I guess it’s just something that ah, Mr. Coffman brought up, and so forth.  Does the State Planning Office actually have to spend any money to ah, own the Juniper Ridge Landfill every year?”

 

 

 

A :  “Ummm….The State Planning Office pays my salary, and expenses that I incur related to the oversight of the landfill.  Ummm….Casella is responsible for most of the expenses up there.  Now and then we do have a little, something to pay, but for the most part Casella pays everything up there.”

 

 

 

Q :  “So when someone…”

 

 

 

A :  “An example, Ummm… When I have to consult with an Attorney at the Attorney General’s Office.  That time is something that the State has to be responsible for.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K..  So it’s not exactly accurate when, someone says that, “The State Planning Office spends millions of dollars a year for the Juniper Ridge Landfill?”

 

 

 

A :  “Ah, yeah.  That’s is not correct.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K..  I appreciate it. ‘cuz that’s…I’m just trying to confirm this information.  Ah, there were allegations of illegal chemicals being brought in from out of state, and dumped into Old Town.  Bob Duchesnes’ response was:  “I would have to defer to the State Planning Office to see what type of checking is being done.’”

 

 

 

A :  “Well, this gets back to our earlier question.”

 

 

 

Q :  “Exactly.”

 

 

 

A :  “The loads are restricted to what is acceptable material.  Acceptable material is spelled out in the agreement we have with Casella.  There’s a sign at the entrance to the landfill, that says, what is acceptable and what isn’t.  And then each load has to have a copy of the manifest, signed by the driver.  And that’s how we keep track of what’s going in there.  So, that’s our system for checking loads.  Yes, I am up there.  I do, when I’m up there, I do see what’s coming in on the trucks, and the manifests are there for me to look at.  They keep them in the office for me to review.”

 

 

 

Q :  “Do you have other people on site, to check this stuff being dumped, as Bob Duchesne assumed during his interview?”

 

 

 

A :  “The State Planning Office doesn’t have other people there.  D.E.P., staff are there on a regular basis checking, and Casellas’ own staff are checking.  Again, should something be delivered that isn’t appropriate, Casella, could be in violation of their agreement.  They don’t want that.”

 

 

 

Q :    Yeah, that’s totally understandable.  Now in Part One, Hillary Lister said, ah, ‘Primary thing that the State Planning Office does is run the dump with Casella.  Is that true, or do you folks do other things?”

 

 

 

A :  “I don’t understand what she is saying.  Can you repeat the question?”

 

 

 

Q :  “Yup.  Ah, she said, “The primary thing that The State Planning Office does is run the dump with Casella.’  I mean, do you folks have other operations hat you do, that the States’ Planning Office does?”

 

 

 

A :  “The State Planning Office.  Which is about to be dismantled, by the way.”

 

 

 

Q :  “Yes.”

 

 

 

A :  “It goes away in about six months, maybe sooner.  As around a dozen programs in it.  One of the programs is: ‘Waste Management and Recycling.’  I have dour staff.  A year ago I had six.  Down to four.  And most of my time is spent overseeing the landfills, the State owns.  Whether it is the Dolby Landfill, the Juniper Landfill, or the Carpenter Ridge site.  That’s where my time is spent.  So no, the State Planning Office, doesn’t spend its entire time, staff and budget on the landfill.  And it’s not ‘a dump.’ It’s a highly engineered structure.  People like to call it a dump.  But it’s not like the dump I grew up with, where it was burned every Saturday, and trash is just thrown and nobody really cared about it.  We’re concerned about the environment today.  There are extreme measures being put into place to make sure that there’s no releases to the environment, from the leachate.  That the landfill gas is controlled.  We’re actually collecting the landfill gas generated primary methane, at the Juniper Ridge landfill and we’re flaring it off.  And we’re in the process, Casella’s got the lead on this, of actually piping that landfill gas to the University of Maine at Orono.  Where they will be using it as a fuel in their heating system.”

 

 

 

 

 

Q :  “Now do they ‘flare it off,’ onsite?”

 

 

 

A :  “They ‘flare it off,” at the facility itself.  We have about a three foot diameter.  Umm…yeah, three foot diameter.  Diameter is across circumference right?  Diameter pipe.  And it looks like a giant candle.  It’s about 40 feet high, and at the top is an 8-12 foot blue-ish to yellow flame that burns 24 hours a day.  And that’s burning off the methane and other gases that are released by the decomposition of the waste.”

 

 

 

Q :  “Now, ah, is it…the pipeline from Juniper Ridge Landfill going down to Orono, have they actually designed a route yet going down?”

 

 

 

A :  “No.  No.  We’re …or Casella, I say ‘we,’ ah, Casella keeps me in the loop on it.  Casella is in the process, of getting the permits for the process.  Then they will do the pipeline lay out design.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K., and Ah…Also Hillary Lister in part one agreed the audience at the Black…at the meeting at the Black Bear Inn, called for an audit of what sort of trash Casella takes in and where it comes from.  And you already stated that, ah, you folks do audits too and so forth.”

 

 

 

A :  “This information’s available, yes.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K..  And ah, is it possible…Ah, so you guys, the audits…”

 

 

 

A :  “Can I jump in here?”

 

 

 

Q :  “Sure.”

 

 

 

A :  “Every month Casella prepares a report of each load of material that was delivered to the landfill.  Whether it was contaminated soil, ash from a bio-mass boiler, ash from waste energy plant, finding processed residue form a waste energy plant.  Construction and Demolition debris, processing residues from different operations, sludge, all that is tabulated and it’s on our website.  Ah, we post it, Alana is our webmaster.  (She was sitting in during the interview.)  I think that’s the right term.  (Lets out a single chuckle.)  And so you can go to the State Planning Office, waste management recycling website.  Go to Juniper Ridge and you can find for the last year, each monthly report for the amount and types of waste that were delivered to Juniper Ridge.  And that’s from this information here, on the manifest.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K..  So you guys are…It sounds like you folks are on top of it.”

 

 

 

A :  “Well, we, we try, so.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K., and ah, Hillary Lister also said in part one, about the meeting.  She said, ‘People were unanimous against the expansion, or the public was.  The only people in favor of it was Casella, the State Planning Office and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.  Now is the State Planning Office officially in favor of the expansion, or are you guys professional neutral?”

 

 

 

A :  “O.K., the, umm...The meeting at the Black Bear Inn was on the public benefit determination.”

 

 

 

Q :  “Correct.”

 

 

 

A :  “Which is the first step before we, ah, apply for an expansion to Juniper Ridge.  So, we had not prepared an application for the expansion.  We’re waiting for a decision from the Department on the public benefit determination.”

 

 

 

Q :  “Right, Bob Duchesne said that too.”

 

 

 

A :  “And, so what we’re looking for is, yes, we support moving ahead, with getting permission to have the landfill expand.  Because the landfill will not last for the entire length of contract, that we anticipated, when we signed the contract with Casella.  In our contract with Casella, the operating services agreement would actually required Casella to submit an application for the expansion of the landfill.  Because the ten million cubic yards capacity it had when the whole process was over, would not be sufficient to carry the needs of the State, for the 30 years we had anticipated.”

 

Q :  “Well, ah, that’s an interesting point, because, I looked at the records and it seemed like when the deal was struck, Casella’s’ tonnage was sustainable low; but then started increasing more and more and more.  And I actually, I, from what Jim Freeman and Bob Duchesne says is: ‘If the State was really careful, about how they used the space, the people of Maine, the Juniper Ridge Landfill could last the State of Maine 50 years.  But the way Casellas’ is running it, it’s probably going to last 10 or 15 years and so forth.  Because they’re bringing in so much Construction Debris.”

 

 

 

A :  (Clears throat.)  “The agreement for the State, to have Casella operate the landfill was signed in February of 2004.  That, and then we got the license from the Department to allow for the , umm…increase in capacity at the landfill.  That was appealed, to the Board of Environmental Protection, by ‘We The People,’ and some other folks.  Ah, that was settled in October of November of 2004, by the Board of Environmental Protection.  Saying that, ‘Yes, you could.’  But it was appealed again to the Superior Court.  Superior Court did not rule until March of 2006.  That the State could indeed accept ‘Non-mill waste, ‘ at the landfill.’  Prior to that, all we could take was ‘mill waste.’  So if you look at 2004, 2005, the early part of 2006, there’s not a lot of waste going to Juniper Ridge.  ‘Cuz we didn’t have permission to take ‘non paper mill waste,’ there.  In 2006, the first thing we had to do, was to take the 300,000 yards of paper mill sludge that was buried at the site and mix it.  Paper mill sludge is not a very stable product.  It’s not a stable waste.  It’s very fluid.  It has a life of its own.  It actually roils amongst itself.  It looks like a lava field.  It will actually turn on itself.  So we had to excavate that.  I say we, Casella, and their contractors.  Had to excavate that material, mix it with construction demolition debris, to make a more firm base, on which to build the landfill from.  You just can’t pile trash on top of the sludge.  Otherwise the sludge would just be like tapioca pudding.  It will just go anywhere.  And so for the first, it really wasn’t until the middle of 2007, that we were really able to start taking, umm…what we thought the landfill would be able to take, in terms of waste streams, whether tonnage or types.  But now we have the waste energy plants, their residue streams are going to the landfill.  Umm…K.T.I.s’, Casella’s operation in Lewiston, those residues are going to the landfill.  We have contaminated soils from clean-ups.  Ah, ‘Cutler Base/ Brunswick Naval Air Station, those contaminated soils, came to Juniper Ridge for disposal.  They were all tested, deemed to be safe to be land filled at Juniper Ridge.  So the tonnage has increased.  In 2009, Pine Tree Landfill, Casella owned commercial landfill in, ah…”

 

 

 

Q :  “It’s…”

 

 

 

A :  “Hampden.”

 

 

 

Q :  “Yeah.”

 

 

 

A :  “Hampden, was closed.  The State did not allow them to expand, so they had to close their operation.  That facility was taking in around 150,000 tons of Maine generated waste a year.  It’s also taking in a lot more than that of out of state waste.  So what they did in 2010, is all the in the State generated waste, began being shipped to Juniper Ridge and all the out of State waste, didn’t come into Maine for disposal.  Some came to K.T.I., and the rest of it went somewhere else.  And so, yes, the Waste Stream has had, and I’m using hands here, I’m making little jumps:  2007 when we could start bringing in more waste, we did.  There’s a jump.  2010 when Pine Tree Landfill was no longer available to accept waste, the waste stream jumped again.  So we’re up to around 700,000 tons of waste a year.”

 

 

 

Q :  “O.K., and I said to Bob Duchesne.  I said:  ‘O.K..  Hillary also said, I was…what happened, was she said, -and incidentally Don Meag…’”