Longtime environmental advocate Molly Diggins of the Sierra Club  offers the following take on so-called “solid waste reform” legislation  scheduled for a final vote in the state Senate tonight:
“Tonight, the Senate will have a final (3rd) reading on S 328, Solid Waste Management Reform Act. S. 328 would undo many of the community, fiscal and environmental solid waste policies the state adopted in 2007. The 2007 measures were put into place after a one-year moratorium and comprehensive stakeholder process, including input from state and federal resource agencies.
S 328 has had no associated studies and no stakeholder process. The bill was vastly revised in recent days, changing from minor legislation to an omnibus solid waste bill. In its current form, the bill appears intended to encourage construction of private mega-dumps to serve out-of-state waste haulers.
Attached (click here to view ) is a letter from US Fish & Wildlife Refuge to DENR Secretary Skvarla, reminding the agency that the buffer recommendations adopted in 2007 were the result of technical studies. S 328 would slash buffers requirements for national wildlife refuges from 5 miles to 1500 feet, or .28 mile.
Our understanding is that US Fish & Wildlife Service has not been asked to comment on S 328.
S 328 would slash other buffer requirements as well, eliminating them entirely next to wetlands.”