by Matt Prindiville, NRCM Toxics Project Director
Good afternoon Senator Goodall, Representative Duchesne and members of the Natural Resources Committee. My name is Matt Prindiville, and I’m the Clean Production Project Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM). NRCM is Maine’s leading, membership-supported environmental advocacy organization. We represent over 12,000 members and supporters and promote science-based, solutions-oriented policy on a variety of issues including energy, land conservation, river restoration and preventing toxic pollution.
We support LD 759, and we thank Representative Duchesne for bringing this issue to the attention of the committee.
This bill comes down to one fundamental principle: that the state government should not be exempt from laws that are intended to protect the public interest. While it is generally assumed that the state will act in accordance with the public interest, as history has shown, this is not always the case especially when there are incentives to do otherwise.
And especially when it comes waste issues. As many of you know, there’s cash in trash. That’s why there’s been corruption and criminal activity in other states. Maine has some good rules in place and has very smartly separated the ownership function from the regulatory function with regards to Juniper Ridge. However, when we exempt ourselves from some of the regulatory standards, we do so at the risk of compromising the safeguards in place to protect the public’s interest.
With a state agency, like SPO, now owner and administrator of one of the largest landfills in New England, it’s especially important that the state be held to the same standards as commercial landfills. If the referee is going to become a player in the game, then the ref should have to play by the same rules as everyone else.
We urge you to support LD 759. Thank you for your consideration.