In addition to a bill concerning trash disposal introduced in the House (HB2192 Amend Solid Waste Franchise Statutes:) A bill asking for more study on landfills has been introduced in the NC Senate.
NC Senator Clark Jenkins (Edgecombe) has introduced a bill calling for a Moratorium Imposed on New Landfills. The bill (if made into law) would block the permitting of any new landfills for two years while the legislature studies current rules and decides how to strengthen them. The bill would also appropriate money to do a study of landfills in low-lying areas and other landfill hazards and how to strength current laws governing landfills in the state.
Courts have ruled that garbage is a commodity that states cannot stop from crossing their borders. That has led to the growth of interstate shipments to places with more open space. There are several applications for landfills pending in NC at this time. The largest one is proposed for Camden County. This massive dump could be over 200 feet high and would have the capacity to bury 3 million tons of trash a year for up to 27 years. It is proposed for a 490 to 704 acre site just 3,000 feet from Hwy, 17. This pile of garbage will probably be visible for quite a distance.
The Raleigh N&O reports that Gov. Mike Easley's budget proposal suggests a $2-per-ton statewide fee on solid waste, which would generate about $20 million. Part of the money generated by the fee would be used to help clean up about 700 inactive landfills and some abandoned polluted industrial sites across the state and provide grants to local governments for cleanups.
North Carolina currently charges no fee for trash disposal. Gov. Easley's fee proposal would include all trash disposal in North Carolina, not just imported trash.
An entire copy of the bill (S1575) can be found on the North Carolina Legislature web site.
Short Title: Moratorium Imposed on New Landfills/Funds.
Sponsors: Senators Jenkins; Albertson and Purcell.
Referred to: Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources.
S.1575 will block any new approvals until January 2008, providing time for a study commission to examine how to improve siting, bonding, and operations of landfills to prevent the degradation of rural communities and the natural environment. Of course there are some exceptions in the proposal.
. . . "SECTION 2.(b) Exceptions. – The moratorium established by subsection (a) of this section shall not prohibit consideration of an application for or issuance of:
(1) A modification of a permit for an existing permitted landfill.
(2) A permit to expand an existing permitted landfill if the proposed facility boundary will provide no more than five years of disposal capacity.
(3) A modification of a permit to reflect a transfer of ownership of an existing permitted landfill.
(4) A modification of a permit to provide for a substantial change to the waste stream described in a permit in effect as of 1 May 2006 for an existing landfill.
(5) A permit for a sanitary landfill used only to dispose of waste generated by a coal?fired generating unit that is owned or operated by an investor?owned utility subject to the requirements of G.S. 143?215.107D.
(6) A permit for a sanitary landfill determined to be necessary by the Secretary in order to respond to an imminent hazard to public health or a natural disaster . . .
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Should we allow North Carolina to become the dumping ground for garbage from the entire East Coast? North Carolina's location on the coast makes it an easy dumping place for trash traveling on barges and by rail up and down the Atlantic Coast.