DEP seeks bids to clean rifle range, likely sending waste to Dragon
Augusta — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is seeking proposals to process 27,000 tons of waste from a former Warren rifle range so it can be used as an alternative fuel by Dragon Products.
State Environmental Specialist Michael Parker said it is not necessarily a done deal that the waste will go to Dragon, but that is the most likely solution to cleaning up the former R.D. Outfitters rifle range on Route 90 in Warren.
The request for proposals put out by the state names Dragon specifically. However, bidders also have the option of submitting proposals to remove the fiber from the site and find another beneficial use for it that does not involve Dragon.
The bids are due Sept. 18.
For more than a decade, the state has been working with the town of Warren trying to figure out how to clean up the site where the bales of polyester and polypropylene carpet-like fiber material have been stored. The original plan was to use the bales to build berms at the range.
Parker said Dragon has expressed interest in burning the fiber as an alternative fuel at its Thomaston cement plant. It currently uses petroleum coke and cut-up tires as fuel, and it would not need any change to its emissions license.
Dragon also makes sense because it is relatively close to the Warren site, he said.
However, the material needs to be shredded to no more than six-inch strips and Dragon needs to install equipment to feed it into the plant, he said.
He said he talked with Dragon officials about a week ago, and they are interested in using the material.
Dragon officials could not be reached for comment immediately for this story.
The project will be funded with settlement money from the lawsuit the former owners of the range filed against Camden National Bank. The legal battle started after the bank foreclosed on the former owners. The state and town of Warren were able claim some of the settlement money and set it aside for remediation of the site, Parker said.
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Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and news director for Courier Publications. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Christine, who also works for Courier Publications, and two children.
Dunkle has previously served as editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. He has worked as a reporter and photographer in the Midcoast since 1998.