OLD TOWN (AP) – The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has given final approval for the West Old Town Landfill project, making an appeal by opponents likely.

“I have to base my decision on the environmental aspects of it and the geological aspects, and from that perspective it did meet the test,” DEP Commissioner Dawn Gallagher said Friday.

Since November officials have been reviewing Casella Waste Systems’ application to increase the height of the landfill and the number of waste streams that will be accepted at the site. The DEP tentatively approved the application in February.

A three-way landfill deal involving the state, Georgia-Pacific Corp. and Casella was designed to help keep the Old Town paper mill open. The state bought the site from G-P and chose Casella, which runs the Pine Tree Landfill in Hampden, to operate it.

The DEP decision could be subject to review by the Board of Environmental Protection.

Charlie Gibbs, a member of We The People, a group of residents opposed to the landfill, said that he was “absolutely disgusted” with the way the process has unfolded. “None of us are surprised by this,” he said.

Don Meagher, Casella’s manager of planning and development, said the next step for Casella is to review the license and comments from the state before the company moves forward.

AP-ES-04-10-04 1746EDT

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