Ensuring affordable, long term, environmentally sound disposal of MSW
MRC, which stands for Municipal Review Committee, Inc., is the name of a non-profit organization comprised of the 187 municipalities and inter-municipal entities that send their MSW to the PERC waste-to-energy facility. The MRC was formed in 1991 to work with the PERC partnership to improve facility operating and economic performance. Since then, the MRC has worked with the private owners of PERC to upgrade the facility, achieve a high level of environmental performance, and keep disposal costs down.
As part of these efforts, 86 municipal entities, known as the Equity Charter Municipalities, have made investments in PERC such that they now own 25.5214 percent of the limited partnership interests (and 22.9693 percent of the overall partnership interests) in the PERC partnership. The MRC has also maintained an “open door policy” to welcome new charter municipalities such that it now serves 187 municipalities throughout central and eastern Maine that have contracts to send MSW to the PERC facility through 2018.
After researching disposal options for post-2018 when PERC’s Power Purchase Agreement expires, MRC and Fiberight teamed up to provide services to 104 municipalities in 2018. MRC will continue to serve all members during this transition time. Our meetings are open to the public and advertised in advance. All of our minutes and agendas are available online.
Our success comes from working collaborating together to solve problems regionally. One key aspect of the Fiberight process that attracted the MRC from the start is its ability to scale its operations to suit the size of the municipalities that remain committed to solving problems by sticking together and leveraging our strength to keep pricing affordable for taxpayers. This approach has worked well for years and will continue to do so after 2018.
The municipal users of the PERC facility include 187 cities, towns and inter-municipal districts in central and eastern Maine. Each has made a firm commitment to deliver MSW to the PERC facility for disposal pursuant to a Waste Disposal Agreement that continues through 2018. MRC members include 86 Equity Charter Municipalities that entered into such disposal agreements before September 1998, and 47 New Charter Municipalities that became members since that time. One hundred and four communities became Joining Members of the MRC’s Plan for 2018.
The MRC keeps MSW disposal affordable by
- Keeping tip fees down.
- Inviting additional Maine municipalities to join the MRC.
- Sending cash rebates to the Charter Municipalities on a quarterly basis. The rebates, which are funded by profits from PERC facility operations, are shared with all Charter Municipalities such that average net disposal costs (that is, tip fees net of the rebates) achieve the target values set by the MRC Board.
- Maintaining cash reserves to fund the cash rebates and other authorized activities.
- Controlling its own operating budget in order to keep dues low.
The MRC acts on a long-term basis by
- Ensuring that the PERC facility sustains a high level of performance.
- Making the waste disposal agreements and other business arrangements work for all involved parties through their expiration in 2018.
- Planning for the member communities’ needs after the 2018 expiration of the PERC contracts.
The MRC ensures that MSW disposal at the PERC facility is environmentally sound by
- Monitoring the facility’s environmental performance on an ongoing basis. As a member of the PERC Oversight Committee, the MRC reviews weekly and monthly performance reports; reviews and votes on the facility’s annual operating budget; reviews and votes on capital and major maintenance projects; and ensures that actions are taken, and investments made, to avoid or address appropriately all potential environmental impacts.
- Reporting to the membership on the facility’s environmental performance, including the results of annual stack tests of air emissions, continuous emissions monitoring; ash testing; and other monitoring and compliance activity.
- Actively representing the Charter Municipalities before the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, the Governor’s Energy Office, and in other public forums.
The MRC is governed by nine directors elected by the membership. The directors meet quarterly, typically on the last Wednesday of the first month of the quarter, to conduct business that includes review and acceptance of the quarterly tip fee; receipt of an update report on PERC Facility operations; decisions on management and disposition of the MRC’s financial assets and reserve funds; discussion of waste delivery trends and waste control measures; and other relevant planning tasks and policies.
The MRC Board of Directors is comprised of nine members elected to three-year terms at-large from its member municipalities.
The MRC Board of Directors consists of the following members:
January 2017 to December 2019
January 2016 to December 2018
January 2015 to December 2017