Bill would scrap environmental restrictions on snow removal

Posted Feb. 09, 2011, at 10:24 a.m.
Last modified Feb. 09, 2011, at 4:15 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine lawmaker wants the state’s cities and towns to dump snow anywhere they want without permission from the Department of Environmental Protection.

The bill is supported by the Maine Municipal Association, but is opposed by environmental groups.

The bill directs the DEP to amend regulations on where municipalities can dump snow. They now must be away from the ocean and rivers, partly surrounded by silt barriers and cleared of trash that’s left behind when the snow melts.

Mexico town manager John Madigan told the Portland Press Herald that the current rules are costly and don’t prevent pollution.

But Stephen Hinchman of the Androscoggin River Alliance said dumps that discharge into waterways will violate federal laws and expose municipalities to lawsuits if the DEP stops issuing permits.

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