Earlier this week, the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) committee had a public hearing and work session on LD 259, An Act To Increase Waste Handling Fees Imposed on the Landfilling of Municipal Solid Waste and Construction and Demolition Debris. This bill was carried over as a concept draft, which was amended by Rep. Ralph Tucker (D-Brunswick) in advance of the public hearing. LD 259 proposes to increase the disposal fee at a landfill of municipal solid waste and municipal solid waste ash from $1 per ton to $5 per ton and to increase the landfill disposal fee imposed on construction and demolition debris (CDD) and residue from the processing of CDD from $2 per ton to $10 per ton.
The Maine State Chamber of Commerce submitted testimony in opposition to LD 259’s proposed amendment. Our reason for opposing this legislation was centered around the increase in the disposal fee of CDD at a landfill, from $2 per ton to $10 per ton. This first amendment would have had an impact on every business in Maine. Its fee increase on CDD would drive up the costs of doing business in Maine, which are already high – and every little bit adds up, including increased disposal fees.
Thankfully, the Maine State Chamber’s concerns, along with those of other businesses and organizations, were heard by Rep. Tucker who amended the bill during the work session. Rep. Tucker proposed in the second amended version to eliminate the increase fee on CDD. He also further amended it to reduce the increase of municipal solid waste fees to only $1. Therefore, under the revised amendment, the increase in municipal solid waste would go from $1 per ton to $2 per ton, instead of the $5 per ton as originally proposed. While it is still an increase, some members of the committee hope that this will encourage more recycling from individuals to save landfill capacity. Rep. Tucker’s new amendment will be the majority report of the committee.
Solid waste and CDD is part of our culture, and we all want to deal with it in an economical and environmentally sensitive manner. Maine’s landfills do a great job for Maine’s businesses and citizens by ensuring that we maximize our capacity in Maine. To have facilities available for Maine businesses into the future is not only important, but also necessary. The Maine State Chamber continues to advocate for more certainty in Maine’s long-term business climate, and waste disposal of CDD and municipal solid waste is part of that equation.
The ENR committee still needs to conduct its language review on the most current amendment to LD 259. The Maine State Chamber intends to ensure that this amendment remains as it is outlined in the committee’s majority report when it is accepted by the full Legislature. We will continue to keep our members updated on the status of this legislation.
For additional information or questions, please contact Ben Lucas, government relations specialist, by calling (207) 623-4568, ext. 111, or by emailing email@example.com.