A public hearing on the proposed expansion of Juniper Ridge Landfill probably won’t be held until fall – five years after the expansion first was sought.

Casella operates the landfill for the state, which acquired it from Georgia-Pacific in 2003. Its capacity has since grown from three million cubic yards that year to 10 million in 2005; Casella in 2011 sought to have 21 million cubic yards more added to the capacity, but after a lengthy review and stiff public opposition, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection decided to allow less than half the requested amount – an additional 9.35 million cubic yards of capacity.

Without the expansion, it has been estimated that Juniper Ridge will be filled in about five to six year; the added 9.35 million cubic yards would mean an estimated eight to 10 more years of use there, assuming current annual disposal there stays about the same.

Since the initial application, there have been numerous steps taken in the lengthy process, including decisions on jurisdiction, intervenor’s status, review by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and more. Among the remaining steps is a public hearing; the Board of Environmental Protection over the proposed expansion, has tentatively scheduled the hearing for Oct. 18 and 19, and possible Oct. 20 if that day is needed to conclude the hearing.

The hearing will be held in the Bangor area at a site to be determined.

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