RadioActive 4/25/19: Updates on Water Extraction and Solid Waste Reform Bills

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

a) Today we hear updates on the status of proposed waste reform and water extraction bills in the Maine State Legislature.

b) Yesterday, the Environmental and Natural Resources Committee made decisions on five bills that could impact industrial water extraction in Maine, specifically by Poland Spring, owned by Nestle Waters North America. The ENR Committee voted unanimously “ought to pass” on LD 112 ” An Act to Acknowledge Potable Water as a Necessity.” They voted unanimously “ought not to pass” on
LD 1358, “An Act to Further the Public Interest In All Maine Waters”, LD 413 ” An Act to Ensure the Rights
of Citizens to Groundwater in the State” and LD 197 “An Act to Convene a Working Group to Authorize a Public Trust for Maine’s Groundwater”. The Committee voted to move LD 1474 “An Act to Ensure Water Equity and Accountability for the People of the State”, sponsored by Rep. Hickman legislature.maine.gov/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP1076&item=1&snum=129, to the Legislative Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. The work session is not yet scheduled.

c) Tomorrow, April 26th, at 10 am the Environment and Natural Resources Committee will hold a work session on LD 401, An Act To Preserve State Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling,” would request the accurate tracking and record keeping of waste from its generation to final disposal point, including as landfill leachate discharged into Maine waterways, including Juniper Ridge Landfill leachate deposited into the Penobscot River. It would walk back a 2011 state statute that allows out of state waste to be re-classified as in-state waste. It would also walk back the ability for the state to meet recycling goals by counting construction and demolition debris used as landfill covering and waste biosolids used as agricultural fertilizer. It would strengthen protections for the health of those living in close proximity to waste disposal facilities, including the Penobscot Nation.

To listen to the work session: legislature.maine.gov/Audio/#216

Guests:
Nickie Sekera, Community Water Justice www.facebook.com/communitywaterjustice/ www.communitywaterjustice.com

Hillary Lister, solid waste and environmental justice activist, Contact info: hmaine9@gmail.com or 207-314-4692

Today’s program was produced with the Sunlight Media Collective.