Environment, Governor Roy Cooper, Legislature

Hold your sprayers: Gov. Cooper puts the kibosh on leachate bill

Leachate won’t start spewing garbage juice for at least another month now that Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed House Bill 576. The measure would require state environmental officials to permit an untested technology that sprays leachate from landfills into the air. The theory is the larger, harmful contaminated particles will drop to the surface of the landfill, leaving smaller particles to float away. However, scientific studies on other types of waste sprays show that viruses, bacteria and other small contaminants can travel for miles, depending on the wind, topography and humidity.

“Scientists, not the legislature, should decide whether a patented technology can safely dispose of contaminated liquids from landfills,” Cooper wrote in his veto message. “With use of the word ‘shall,’ the legislature mandates a technology winner, limiting future advancements that may provide better protection.”

Sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Dixon of Duplin County, the bill was controversial from the get-go. Environmental advocates and many Democrats opposed the bill because of safety concerns. Dixon repeatedly said the technology was safe, but offered no pertinent data or proof.

The leachate spraying system was invented by Kelly Houston of Cornelius. Last year, he contributed $5,000 to the campaign of Trudy Wade when the bill language was being inserted into an omnibus measure. That provision failed in the waning days of the 2016 short session.

This year, Wade carried water for the bill on the Senate side, which passed it 29-14. The House also passed it 75-45. Lawmakers could vote on an override, which requires a three-fifths majority, when the first special session convenes Aug. 3.

3 Comments


  1. Keely

    June 30, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    A Governor with Commen Sense! #yeahRoy

  2. Lisa Sorg

    July 1, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Stuart, I just approved your comment. The reason we moderate comments is to prevent the section from becoming a cesspool of spam and incivility, which unfortunately, is common on many news sites. I rarely disapprove a comment on my stories (the only ones that I have any say-so over). I keep an eye out for libel, spam and ad hominem attacks, but otherwise I green-light them.

  3. Patricia Bryant

    July 2, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    I Totally AGREE with Gov. Roy Cooper on vetoing House Bill #576!! Shame on Legislators IF this bill gets passed!!

Check Also

Here’s something else to worry about: more mosquito days

It’s not your imagination. Mosquitoes are worse than ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Enrollment drops. Employee furloughs and layoffs. Faculty cuts. Shuttered athletic programs. UNC Sys [...]

Millions of children will begin the new school year learning from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [...]

Balky technology, expiring benefits worry workers, state leaders. Congress is continuing to squabble [...]

Environmental destruction, property entanglements will take years to address Behind a black wooden f [...]

North Carolina is now almost five months into the massive societal disruption caused by the COVID-19 [...]

The post The latest buzz in 2020… appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

The image of a perfect storm conveys a rueful irony – the storm whose components are so intertwined, [...]

Editor’s note: The issue of violence committed against women in the U.S. military, including sexual [...]