PO Box 1070, Frankfort, KY 40602 Phone 502.875.2428, Fax 502.875.2845
Hearing Officer Rules in Trapp Case. Posted: February 24, 2003
Hearing Officer Janet Thompson ruled on February 20 that the state Division of Waste Management erred in concluding that Kentucky Pioneer Energy's use of processed waste to fuel a proposed power plant in Clark County, Kentucky would be exempt from state waste laws.
The state Cabinet had determined that the processed municipal solid waste by the power plant was "refuse derived fuel" and as such was exempt from state solid waste laws, including local approval of the waste importation by Clark County; despite the acknowledgment by the company that it would not remove plastics and paper from the waste because it wanted the Btu (heat) value of those wastes.
The Hearing Officer recommended the granting of the motion of Charles (Tim) Walters for summary disposition, holding that "when it should have been clear to DWM that no effort would be made to extract the recoverable recyclable plastics or paper from the waste stream it was clearly erroneous for DWM to make an advance determination that the waste based fuel was a refuse-derived fuel and the facility would not be required to obtain a waste permit." The company is expected to file exceptions to the Hearing Officer;s Report, after which time the Cabinet Secretary will issue a final Order.
HB 473, which will be voted on by the state House today, would clarify existing state law to correct the DWM's misinterpretation of the law in this case and for all future cases. The Hearing Officer's decision underscores that HB 473 properly clarifies the intent of the General Assembly when it passed SB2 in 1991.