AUGUSTA (AP) — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has resumed payments to 12 communities for the costs of cleaning up and closing landfills that posed a public health hazard.

Gov. Paul LePage applauded DEP’s efforts, which mirror his own to make good on the $484 million the state owes to hospitals. In this case, the DEP is resuming payments that were suspended for years.

On Friday, Patricia Aho presented a nearly $33,000 check to Bath. All told, nearly $200,000 is being paid to the communities to help them deal with remediation of unlined landfills.

The reimbursements are being funded by a new fee on construction and demolition debris. The fee went into effect on Jan. 1 and is expected to generate nearly $400,000 this year.

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