April 06, 2020

Milo landfill session poorly attended

MILO — Only a handful of residents attended Thursday night’s public hearing on the Penquis Solid Waste Corp.’s proposed construction demolition debris landfill on the Lake View Road.

Penquis Solid Waste — representing Brownville, Milo, Lake View Plantation and Piscataquis County — held the hearing at the Milo Town Hall to meet a requirement by the state Department of Environmental Protection as a part of the application process.

The purpose was to give residents a chance to voice concerns regarding the proposal and to ask questions. Project engineers from Civil Engineering Services of Brewer and the DEP’s Karen Knutti attended the hearing to answer those questions.

The corporation’s next step is to submit its finished application — which includes a topographical map of the site, a site plan, an operational manual, soil and ground water test results — to DEP at a meeting on Tuesday.

After the application is submitted, DEP has 15 days to decide whether the application is acceptable. If DEP has questions regarding the site, including test results taken of the soil, the corporation might have to take more samples. If the application is acceptable, engineers will begin clearing the 50-acre lot of trees and stumps and lay 2 feet of soil on the designated 3 1/2-acre landfill site.

The whole process would take about three months.

James Catlin, president of the corporation, began the hearing with background on the two-year search to locate a site. The site abutting the Lake View Road and Lake View Plantation’s already fully operational transfer station was chosen out of 18 possible sites, he said.

The 3 1/2-acre landfill would accept 500 to 1,500 cubic yards of waste per year, with a life span of about 20 years. After the facility is full and closed, the maximum elevation would be 36 feet from the ground.

In addition, each year the ground water quality would be tested three times and the results presented to DEP. Previously, Milo residents have shown concern regarding the possibility of ground water contamination.

Heather Frederics, a Milo resident who owns property abutting the site, took notes throughout the meeting and asked several questions. She was concerned about where the runoff would end up and how regulations would be enforced at the landfill.

The runoff would end up going into a standpipe, according to Shawn Small, project manager. He said the water would not be stagnant in a pool, but would fan out and, hopefully, run off as normal.

“The first line” of enforcement of rules and regulations would be the attendant, Small said. The town of Milo and DEP would then share enforcement responsibilities, he said.

After the meeting, Milo resident Micky Stockwell said he was disappointed with the hearing’s poor attendance. Only about five people attended who weren’t associated with the project or the corporation. “It stinks,” he said with a glance at the roomful of empty seats. Stockwell said he believes the meeting was poorly attended because the corporation didn’t publicize it properly. “It wasn’t advertised well,” he said.

Felix Blinn, a Brownville resident and member of the corporation, said most residents didn’t want to get involved in the process. They’d rather leave that to their selectmen, he said.

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