Dump Documents Dispatch #11
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In the previous Dispatch #10 we found our State officials busily scratching their heads to find a way to exempt G-P from existing job creation laws. It's not hard to remember the parallels from last year, when existing laws would not allow Casella and G-P to "commercialize" the West Old Town Landfill all on their own. The State would have to be involved. But even if it were involved, there was the matter of existing landfill siting statutes that might get in the way. As is so elegantly stated in the memo below by George MacDonald, the State's solid waste manager at the State Planning Office, "This G-P opportunity doesn't fit neatly into what was planned." That is, into the existing rules set up by the Legislature regarding the siting of State-owned landfills.
This was the scenario when the need for a Legislative Resolve became apparent to the dealmakers. Mr. MacDonald of the SPO as well as David Lennett of the DEP offered their services to help make this happen (as an aside we ask again, why was the DEP involved at this stage?). Ok, George, remind us again, exactly what were those laws that we will need to cancel with the new Resolve? Only a month later the Resolve became reality, passed in the last hours of the last day of the Legislative session, June 14, 2003. We weren't surprised to learn that many inconvenient statutes were negated by the new Resolve, including the one referenced in MacDonald's e-mail below.
A source of constant aggravation for opponents of the landfill is the Rule that defines what qualifies as a landfill "expansion." Their definition goes against everyday understanding of the word "expand," and has been used against public involvement in this project. In the ongoing civics lesson called West Old Town Landfill, we have learned that well beyond mere definitions in the Rules, entire Chapters of the Maine Revised Statutes can be negated, and whole new laws put in place, when needed to serve corporate interests. Are we hitting home runs yet, Rick?
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