Representatives seeking solution to pressing problem affecting Maine wastewater districts

 Legislative Committee Briefing on Sludge Management Scheduled for Wednesday.

AUGUSTA – Rep. Scott Cyrway (R-Albion) and Environment and Natural Resources Committee member Mike Sobeleski (R-Phillips) are seeking to bring attention to a serious problem facing at least thirty-two Maine water districts and that could potentially pollute Maine waterways if not solved quickly. Sanitary Treatment Districts have expressed concern that a new state law (PL 626) enacted last year has created a solid waste crisis. If unaddressed, a backlog of wastewater sludge could overflow into Maine waterways creating a human health and environmental crisis.   

Rep. Cyrway and Rep. Mike Sobeleski recently met with representatives of the Kennebec Sanitary District and others to learn of their concerns and seek solutions to a problem that affects Maine water districts statewide. The two are sounding the alarm in advance of a Wednesday, March 8 Sludge Management Briefing before the Joint Standing Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. That briefing from Administration officials is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

“This is a serious crisis that needs immediate attention before we get a spike in wastewater from a rainstorm, or a large snowmelt from the springtime thaw,” said Rep. Cyrway. “It is the contention of sanitary treatment districts that the Legislature created this crisis with a new law that is having unintended consequences. We need to find a solution fast.”

Rep. Soboleski stressed the need for the Environment and Natural Resource Committee to obtain more information from the Administration on how it plans to react. “I have heard a number of potential solutions floated unofficially,” said Rep. Soboleski. “I am interested in learning what the Administration is doing in light of the problem and what we have learned from those directly involved in treating wastewater.”


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