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Portland, ME: (Aug-16-07) The Department of Environmental Protection brought charges against Ecomaine, the operator of greater Portland's trash incinerator, alleging that it had air pollution violations at its facility, dating back seven years. The suit claimed that in some cases, the Portland incinerator violated smoke standards or exceeded the limit for carbon monoxide because of operational problems or the conditions of the trash it burned. While violations took place in 2006 and 2007, most date back to the early part of the decade.

In a settlement reached, Ecomaine agreed to pay a $28,446 penalty to resolve the allegations. Ecomaine proposed the penalty as a way to clear all outstanding compliance cases, and to reduce future pollution. Most of the fine, $22,773, will pay for a study of new monitoring equipment that could ultimately help Ecomaine and the state reduce mercury pollution. The penalty is based on a compilation of violations dating back to 2000. Ecomaine General Manager Kevin Roche said the number of violations has been reduced in recent years and that the facility meets pollution standards 99.99% of the time. Environmental fines are not new for the organization, which was known as Regional Waste Systems until a reorganization and name change last summer. But this settlement which is up for final state approval is seen as the latest evidence of a new, cooperative philosophy at the trash plant. [MORNING SENTINEL: TRASH POLLUTION]

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Published on Aug-20-07


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