An article in Sunday's News & Record was a bit misleading in its assessment of a proposed law on garbage dumps. I think the article was referring to Senate Bill 1575 which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources. The bill would put a hold on new landfills for 2 years while an environmental study is made. It would also allocate money for the study.
The N&R article failed to mention that there are exceptions written into the bill. These exceptions were posted here on May 22. I can't help wondering if the city employees interviewed about this action have read and understand the contents of and intent of the bill. There are several exceptions for existing landfills.
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.
SOME EXCEPTIONS ARE LISTED HERE.
"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 . . .
Of course private companies who stockpile garbage in rural landfills would be against any restrictions on landfills. This study seems well advised in light of their intent to import trash into North Carolina from other states as well as hauling trash from metropolitan areas and dumping it in rural counties. The length of safety of these dumps is unknown. North Carolina's taxpayers should not have to pay to clean up areas that have been polluted by imported trash.
If North Carolina intends to reduce the cost of trash disposal and maybe even make a profit from it, Waste to Energy Programs should be addressed by the NC General Assembly, as well as by local governments.
What do you think?