Water Ceremony against leachate pollution of Penobscot River
The Penobscot River is being polluted by the state owned, privately run Juniper Ridge Landfill. Landfill leachate is a waste by product created when rainwater filters down through layers of solid waste in a landfill, collecting a toxic cocktail of chemicals along the way. The leachate is then trucked to the Nine Dragon’s Paper mill wastewater treatment plant in Old Town, “processed” and dumped in the Penobscot River. A Sunlight Media Collective production Filmed by Neil Shelley with additional recording by Joanna Weaver and Chek Wingo. Photographs by Nolan Altvater. Edited by Joanna Weaver Produced by Dawn Neptune Adams & Meredith DeFrancesco Narrated by Dawn Neptune Adams Audio recording by Meredith DeFrancesco Excerpts from “Juniper Ridge Landfill Megadump Part 1” Filmed & Edited by Chek Wingo for Sunlight Media Collective https://vimeo.com/462000760 Featured (in order of appearance): Lokotah Sanborn - Penobscot Nation, Activist Kathy Paul - Penobscot Nation Elder, Water Protector Charlene Francis - Penobscot Nation & Ojibwe Elder Desiree Vargas - Taino Higuayagua Tribal Councilwoman, Co-Founder of Racial Equity & Justice Sherri Mitchell - Penobscot Nation, Indigenous Rights Attorney Indigenous Peoples’ Day Water Ceremony event hosted by Sunlight Media Collective and Racial Equity & Justice on October 11, 2020.
Juniper Ridge Landfill Megadump Part 1
Out of State Trash into JRL and Leachate into Penobscot River: The Maine Board Of Environmental Protection (BEP) is currently considering changes to Maine's waste policy that would change the definition of Maine generated waste in order to control the disposal of out-of-state waste in Maine’s publicly-owned landfills, and require the consideration of environmental justice and equal protection when expanding or siting waste facilities in Maine. Over the years, the lack of definitions and protections in Maine's solid waste management rules have made local communities increasingly vulnerable to the possibilities of groundwater and river pollution, including those surrounding the state owned, privately run Juniper Ridge Landfill (JRL) in Old Town. JRL has raised the ire and scrutiny of local landfill opponents and community members for nearly two decades. Communities directly impacted include Old Town, Alton, Argyle, and the Penobscot Nation located directly downstream from the landfill and directly upstream from where landfill leachate is processed and dumped into the Penobscot River. Community members across Maine have tried repeatedly to show that state waste rules are not protective of environmental and human health, curtail the public's participation and the consideration of impacts on affected communities, and have not only allowed, but encouraged a proliferation of out-of-state waste into Maine, resulting in a growing for-profit business using Maine's publicly owned landfills, and taking advantage of renewable energy credits. Written comments on the“Petition to Modify Maine's Solid Waste Management Rules” can be emailed to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org (include in Subject "Chapter 400 Rule Petition Comments”) Written comments are due by 5pm on September 28, 2020. Produced by Sunlight Media Collective Featured (in order of appearance): Kathy Paul - Penobscot Nation Elder Ed Spencer - West Old Town Paul C. Schroeder - Orono Peter Crockett - Argyle Hillary Lister - Co-founder, organizer w/ Don't Waste ME Dan Kusnierz - Penobscot Nation Water Resources Program Manager Jan Paul - Water Resources Field and Lab Technician, interim Air Quality Director
ND Paper Discharge August 2020
OLD TOWN - Each year over 200,000 tons of out-of-state waste is disposed of at Juniper Ridge Landfill, a publicly owned, privately run landfill in Maine. The waste used to construct it is toxic enough to have been banned from disposal in all 5 other Northeastern states. An annual average 10 million gallons of leachate from Juniper Ridge Landfill is received by the Nine Dragons Paper Old Town Mill facility, which holds the discharge permit that allows for the release of landfill leachate into the Penobscot River, the largest river system in the state of Maine. Juniper Ridge Landfill leachate contains more than 100 different organic and inorganic toxic pollutants in the parts per million and parts per billion ranges, some long since banned from commercial use, and some near or above actionable concentrations for drinking water. These include metals such as Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, and Lead; Pesticides, Herbicides, and PCB's such as Lindane, Dinoseb, Endrin, DDE and DDT; and other semi-volatile organics such as Dibenzofurans. As of September 2020 the status of Nine Dragons Paper Old Town MIll is listed by the EPA as in "Significant Noncompliance" for "Failure to Report Discharge Monitoring Measurements," yet no formal or informal enforcement actions have been taken, at the state or federal level. The Maine Legislature will soon hear a citizen driven bill that is An Act To Protect The Health And Welfare Of Maine Communities And Reduce Harmful Solid Waste. It proposes to add a definition of Environmental Justice and Equal Protection to the public benefit determination standards. It also proposes to close once and for all an industry driven loophole, which has for years allowed an interstate commercial waste operation to profit by laundering regional toxic waste material into a public landfill through rules that Maine's own Department of Environmental Protection has allowed. Produced by Sunlight Media Collective
About Don't Waste ME
Don’t Waste ME is a coalition of people across Maine advocating for responsible policies that protect the health of communities most at risk from negative impacts of landfill, incinerator, leachate and sludge disposal operations