Sludge and Residual Materials Control Ordinance

Town of Whiting

I.                    TITLE

This ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the “Sludge and Residual Materials Control Ordinance of the Town of Whiting”.


II.                  AUTHORITY

This ordinance is adopted pursuant to Article VIII of the Maine constitution and Maine Revised Statutes Title 30-A Section 3001.


III.                 The purpose of this ordinance is to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Whiting by regulating effects of commercial practices in conversion or utilization of sewage sludge, lumbering and lumber-mill wastes, fish by-products, and similar materials.


IV.                LIMITATIONS

Judicial or statutory rejection of any aspect of this ordinance shall not invalidate the ordinance as a whole.




A.      PERMIT

An owner or operator of a proposed residuals conversion operation shall obtain from the Selectmen or Code Enforcement Officer the required application for a permit to establish or operate a materials conversion or utilization facility.


Within seven working days after submitting a completed permit application to the Selectmen, the applicant shall notify each owner of property abutting the location of the proposed facility. The notice shall include a summary description of the proposed facility and magnitude of the proposed operation (i.e., tons of material to be processed per month, or similar quantitative description) and be delivered to abutters by certifies mail.


Prior to issuance of a permit, the Selectmen shall hold a hearing to inform Whiting residents of the proposed operation if, in the Selectmen’s judgment, there are significant questions to be addressed or there is substantial public interest in such a hearing.


The Selectmen shall act on a permit application for construction or operation of a materials conversion facility within ninety days from the date the application is submitted. Within this period, the selectmen shall complete necessary technical evaluations and paperwork required for proper consideration of the proposed activity. Technical evaluations may be performed by personnel of the Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District or professional consultants skilled in design and management of materials conversion facilities.



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Each permit shall clearly state the quantity of materials to be processed per year and list the months during which processed quantity will exceed three times one-twelfth of the annual quantity; i.e., those months in which one-quarter of the annual total will be processed.


The administrative fee for a permit to operate a materials conversion facility shall be $50.00 for the first year with an annual fee of $30.00 subsequently regardless of processing quantity. A permit shall be valid for five years and may be renewed upon submission of evidence that continued operation will not deviate from that described prior to initial permit issuance.


A lapsed operation permit may be re-instated upon demonstration that the renewed operation will meet all requirements applicable to a new construction or operation.



The perimeter of a permitted materials conversion facility shall be set back a minimum of 1500 feet from any adjacent residence, church, place of business, domestic water source, public gathering area (parks, ball fields, etc.), and documented sand and gravel aquifers or aquifer recharge areas.


The perimeter of the materials conversion facility bounds the area within which buildings, material storage piles, active materials conversion(open or enclosed), equipment and supplies storage areas, pollution control features, etc. are contained.


C.      BOND

                       Prior to approval by the Selectmen of a permit for a materials conversion facility or

                       operation, the applicant shall provide proof of a bond or insurance to remedy detriment to

                       potable water sources and real estate devaluation in the amount of the current market

                       value of land and replacement costs of any and all structures for each abutter within two

                       thousand feet of the facility perimeter.



The applicant shall be responsible to the Town of Whiting and liable for any and all reasonable debts or fees that the Town of Whiting may incur for necessary technical evaluation of the proposed construction or operation. The applicant shall sign any contract for necessary technical services and be alone liable for costs of the services.



Any violation of the requirements of this ordinance may be cause for refusal of an initial or renewal permit or revocation of an existing permit in accord with Title 30-A MRSA Section 4452 et seq.



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Upon and by acceptance of an approved permit, the operator or landowner shall authorize the Selectmen or Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Whiting, or their representatives, to inspect the conversion facility at reasonable times including sampling of soil, raw and converted materials, run-off water and fluids, etc. as considered necessary.


Property inspection includes examination of shipping records for materials delivered to and removed from the facility as the means to assure Whiting officials that material quantities (per unit time) are equal to or less than the permitted rates.


VI.                EXEMPTIONS

Notwithstanding the language of Section V., the use of fish scales and similar materials, applied at the agronomic rate, for soil improvement of agricultural fields is exempt from this ordinance.


VII.               VIOLATIONS

The Board of Selectmen, upon notification of potential violation of this ordinance, shall institute or cause to be instituted, in the name of the Town of Whiting, such inspections and technical evaluations as are necessary and appropriate for the enforcement of this ordinance in accord with Title 30-A MRSA Section 4452 et seq.



Any person, firm, or corporation shown to be violating terms of this ordinance by competent evidence shall be fined in accord with provisions of Title 30-A Section 4452 et seq. Each day that such violation remains unabated after notification of the permit-holder by the Code Enforcement or Board of Selectmen shall constitute a separate offense.


IX.                DEFINITIONS

Abutter – an abutter is any person owning property contiguous to the property boundary of a proposed of actual conversion facility as well as the owners of property directly across a public or private way from the property containing a conversion facility.


Agronomic rate – an application rate of plant nutrients per unit soil area calculated to be utilized by an agricultural crop and to provide optimum plant growth.


Composting – composting is the biological and chemical decomposition and stabilization of organic matter under controlled aerobic conditions at elevated temperatures.






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Materials conversion facility – a materials conversion facility comprises the buildings, equipment, raw, in-process, and finished materials containment areas, air and water pollution control equipment and areas, etc. constructed or operated to convert bulk materials from a lesser to a more desirable state, The bulk materials are typically organic(see residual material).


Operator – any person charged with the care and management of a materials conversion facility, and controls day-to-day operation of the facility or site.


Owner – any person who alone or in conjunction with others owns the real property upon and within which is located a materials conversion facility.


Residual material – residual material is any organic by- product, waste product, unused component, etc. of municipal, commercial, or industrial operations that may be suitable for composting or other conversion to a product useful in agriculture or other commercial usage. Residual materials are typified by wood scrap, sawdust, pulp and paper mill sludge, food and fiber processing wastes, vegetable and fish processing wastes, ash from wood-fired furnaces, etc.


Septage – sludge-like substances, liquids, and refuse materials obtained from septic tanks, cesspools, and similar smaller-scale sewage and waste-water treatment facilities.


Sludge – sludge is any solid, semi-solid, or liquid waste generated by a municipal, commercial, or industrial waste water treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, wet process air pollution control facility, or any such material having similar characteristics and potential  effects on soil and ground water. Sludge does not include septage.


X.                  AMENDMENDS

Amendments, variations, or revisions of this ordinance shall be adopted in accord with provisions of Title 30-A MRSA Section 3001 et seq.


XI.                EFFECTIVE DATE

The effective date of this ordinance is May 21, 1997. This ordinance applies to all material conversion facilities and operations which have not actually and substantially commenced materials conversion by May 21. 1997.


Copies of this ordinance and all amendments, exemptions, and revisions shall be filed with the Town of Whiting Clerk.



/s/ John A. Pope

/s/ Timothy Mallar

/s/ Carroll E. Gilpatrick               /s/ Alan D. Brooks, Town Clerk                /s/ 05/14/1997