The expansion of a Maine landfill operated by Casella Waste Systems Inc. got a step closer to approval.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) determined there is a public benefit to a portion of an expansion to the Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town proposed by the owner, the Maine State Planning Office, and Rutland, Vt.-based Casella, the DEP said in a news release.

The Maine DEP determined that the proposed 9.35 cubic-yard expansion would be in the public’s benefit because it meets the state’s long-term disposal capacity needs and is consistent with Maine’s waste management plan. The expansion would provide the state with disposal capacity for between eight to 11 years.

The partial approval of the public benefit determination was granted with the condition that third-party audits be conducted every two years.

The next step is for the owners to submit a technical application to the department’s Division of Solid Waste Management for the expansion.

Click here for the DEP’s full determination.