House Bill 473 Protecting Local Control Over Waste Importation

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House Bill 473 Protecting Local Control Over Waste Importation  Posted: February 21, 2003
In 1991 the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill comprehensively overhauling solid waste management in our state. Senate Bill 2 contained a partnership with local governments -- if the counties properly managed their own wastes, they would be given the right to control the importation of other's wastes into the county for disposal, and will be allowed to assess fees on all wastes in order to address the impacts of waste management.

In Senate Bill 2 (1991) a clear hierarchy was established - recycling of materials for reuse as raw materials in remanufacturing was favored over the use of recyclable materials for heat recovery. In order to achieve that goal, the term "refuse-derived fuel" was defined to allow this processed waste product to be exempted from waste permitting ONLY where all recoverable recyclable materials had first been removed.

Despite this seemingly clear mandate, the Natural Resources Cabinet made a decision in the case of the Kentucky Pioneer power plant, a merchant power plant proposing to use as up to 80% of its fuel mix, New York or New Jersey processed garbage instead of coal to power a merchant power plant, that the proposed waste-based fuel was exempt even though the company admitted it would not try to remove paper, cardboard or recyclable plastics because it wanted them for the heat value.

HB 473 corrects the Cabinet misinterpretation and emphasizes what the legislature intended in 1991. It also assures that all use of municipal solid waste-based fuels is subject to local review for consistency with solid waste plans. Having shown the state that it can properly manage its own waste, Clark County should have that voice in determining whether to host a facility for disposing of a million tons each year of wastes from those middle-Atlantic states that have not discovered the political will to dispose of their own wastes at home.

HB 473 has passed the House committee and is pending in the House Rules. Please contact your representative and House leadership (Reps. Stumbo, Richards, Callahan, Barrows, Hoover, Upchurch, DeWeese and L. Clark) and ask them to pass HB 473. Legislative Message Line: 800-372-7181 Legislators Fax Line 502-564-6543


By Kentucky Resources Council on 02/21/2003 5:32 PM
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