Dump Documents Dispatch #20
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Truck safety has been a major concern of many individuals and towns in the West Old Town dump process. The City of Brewer made the State very nervous by demanding a hearing and BEP original jurisdiction because the trash trucks were being routed through Brewer. They were ultimately bought off by spreading the trucks through other towns such as Orono -- see Dispatch #4, "Brewer is a total pain in the ass."
The tables reproduced below tell part of the story. They are from the May, 2003 Special Waste Activity Reports filed by the Pine Tree Landfill in Hampden, Maine (owned by Casella) to the Maine DEP's Bangor office, supposedly the regulators of the facility. The first item reports trucks that arrive from the PERC incinerator in Orrington. Every truck on this page is over the maximum Maine weight of 100,000 lbs., with one truck nearly 40,000 lbs. overweight.
The second list includes trucks arriving from out of state, often Massachusetts and often from Casella subsidiaries. The first set on the second page below lists shipments from MTS Environmental of New Hampshire, a Casella subsidiary; the second set is from New England Organics, another Casella subsidiary. Again, many of these trucks travel over Maine highways overweight.
Who is controlling this? These reports arrive monthly at the DEP, who claim it's not their responsibility to police truck weights. The State Police apparently do not have the resources. When members of We the People / Against the Dump tried to get these records into the official record during the appeal process, the reaction of the company was to begin filing reports that excluded gross truck weights, and only included the weights of delivered waste. In a small victory, the State Police began excluding overweight trucks from the I-95 bridge between Bangor and Brewer, over which all the overweight trucks from PERC had been traveling, and which has a limit of 80,000 lbs.
In the News: In a front page story in the March 10, 2005 Bangor Daily News about the closing of a Casella facility in Pennsylvania due to chronic violations, Casella VP Joe Fusco "...noted that the company doesn't want to blame anyone, but that it won't tolerate employees who don't have a regard for quality record keeping." For Casella, quality record keeping apparently means keeping as many of the facts as possible out the the public's view.
Trash Truck Update: Since originally posting this Dispatch, we have learned that the Maine DEP actually licenses all operators of trash trucks and actually charges a fee for each vehicle transporting trash. This was learned Thursday, March 17, 2005 at a workshop of the Joint Committee on Natural Resources, during a presentation by Paula Clark about the Solid Waste Management Fund, the sole source of funds for DEP's solid waste programs. Part of that fund derives from licensing trash trucks. Paula Clark mentioned that various criteria are used to approve trash haulers and license them, but when asked about this later said that these standards do not include whether the trucks of the hauler chronically are overweight (as in the records below). That is a State Police function. (Oh, excuse us.)
The Document Dispatch is a cooperative project of We The People / Stop The Dump and CommonCoordinates.com. If you have questions, reactions, or ideas for future Dump Documents please contact: Paul Schroeder or Stan Levitsky. Thanks for everyone's support.