According to documents filed with State regulators, the facility would take in 800 tons of municipal solid waste and 800 tons of construction and demolition debris daily
March 3, 2018-At a public meeting at Steel City Academy on Thursday MCR Partners Consultant Matt Reardon and Maya Energy, LLC President James Ventura spoke to a crowd of parents, students and community members regarding their proposal to open a material recycling facility on property owned by the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission. Educators, parents and residents complained that the school was not notified of the plan to put the center across from the school and questioned issues relating to the environment and truck traffic that would come along with the project.
Reardon began the presentation by stating “I am Matt Reardon and I am with MCR Partners and Maya is a client.” MCR Partners is a consulting firm owned by State Representative Mara Candelaria-Reardon according to their website. The first words out of Reardon’s mouth are not the whole story however. State Representatives are required to file financial disclosures and, according to documents filed by Mara Candelaria-Reardon in January of this year, Matt Reardon individually has an ownership interest in Maya Energy, LLC which has a value in excess of $5,000.00 Additionally, in a Letter of Intent filed as far back as 2015, Matt Reardon listed his position as “Director Government Affairs” with Maya Energy, LLC.
Despite all of that, Representative Candelaria-Reardon did not disclose an ownership or employee relationship between MCR Partners or Matt Reardon and Maya Energy on her financial disclosures until an amendment that was filed on January 31, 2018. (See https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2016/house/economic_interest_statements/ )
Almost immediately after the statement regarding ownership, Reardon followed up with a statement that the site would not be a “garbage dump.” “There was a pretty good row in this community about a C&D landfill, and that is not what this project is.” Again, the intentional omission of a crucial fact is glaring. As the graphic above shows, the Maya facility would take in 800 tons-about 200 – 40 ton truckloads- of construction and demolition waste each and every day. Maya Energy claims they will recycle 90% of this material. Sam Henderson of the Hoosier Environmental Council disputes this claim:
“Now [Maya} holds itself out as a combined municipal solid waste and C&D processor, which will somehow achieve the miracle of recycling 90% of the arriving municipal solid waste. . . The president and public representative of this project is a longtime East Chicago political operative with no apparent experience in recycling or waste management. No document yet made public gives any indication that the business plan for Maya Energy (if there is one) is based on anything but blue-sky speculation. The project does not appear to have attracted any significant private-sector investment.”
Sam Henderson, Attorney for the Hoosier Environmental Council in a letter to the Indiana Finance Authority
Assuming for the sake of argument that Maya is able to recycle 90% of the materials brought to the facility, 160 tons of waste would still be left over every day. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of gallons of wastewater will be pumped into the municipal sewer system every day according to filings with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
During the discussion Reardon stated that the land where the recycling facility would go is zoned commercial. According to information maintained on the City of Gary website, that appears to be false. The land is listed in an area zoned residential. More important, the land is owned by the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission and no one seems to want to explain how a recycling facility, which had not even yet been incorporated, obtained a “letter of intent” committing OUR land to a recycling facility for 50 years. The Letter of Intent is signed by Dan Repay but does not appear to have been approved by the Board according to meeting minutes. This gross violation of fiduciary duty by Repay occurred in 2015 and only came to light recently. The Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission is another unelected Board that answers only to Governor Eric Holcomb.