- The Penobscot Energy Recovery Company (PERC) has filed an appeal to challenge permits issued by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for Fiberight's planned waste-to-energy facility in the town of Hampden, according to MPBN.
- PERC filed the appeal with majority owner USA Energy Group and the company Exeter Agri-Energy to reverse DEP's approval and revoke the permits.
- Their petition claims that Fiberight didn't demonstrate sufficient technical or financial capabilities and DEP didn't require proper public hearings, among other issues. It also states that DEP didn't take into account concerns from members of the legislature's Energy and Natural Resources Committee about compliance with the state's solid waste management hierarchy.
Rates are widely expected to go up after PERC's contract with 187 area municipalities expires in 2018 and the company has been on the losing end of its battle for regional business with newcomer Fiberight. While the company has vowed to keep its facility open, and a few towns have yet to make their decisions, Fiberight has locked down commitments for about 107,000 tons of material so far.
Earlier this summer, PERC attempted to discredit the $69 million Fiberight project with negative radio ads and their latest move continues that tone.
"The MDEP made its decision without the benefit of a public hearing and relied too heavily on inconsistent and incomplete information from the applicants," said Robert Knudsen, vice president of USA Energy, in a statement. "Maine people who care about the environment should be deeply concerned, as should those communities that have committed to send their trash to Fiberight after 2018."
Greg Lounder, executive director of the Municipal Review Committee which represents the 187 communities in question, was dismissive of PERC's latest attack.
"We are confident that it will not impede our plans to ensure affordable, environmentally sound disposal of [municipal solid waste] for our communities after 2018," Lounder said in an email to the Bangor Daily News.
The DEP is required to respond within 40 days of PERC's Aug. 12 filing.