Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
Post Office Box 1070
Frankfort, Kentucky 40602
(502) 875-2428 phone (502) 875-2845 fax
Talking Trash &. In a Good Way!
First the good news&Your hard work continues to help:
HB 496, the bill mandating preliminary written notices to violators, remains dormant in the House A&R Committee and is unlikely to reemerge.
SB 193, which would have cut off eligibility for state reimbursement of cleanups of leaking underground tanks in July 2002, was amended Friday by the Senate to extend the deadline until July 2004. The amendment also maintains until 2004 the "small operators account" that pays up front for pulling out the old underground tanks. Around 100 additional leaking underground storage tanks cases are discovered each year needing cleanup, and the amendment assures that small business and individuals who discover these old tanks can access this fund. The bill reprograms the surplus from this dedicated fund to the road fund, with some funding for a bond issue to help fund cleanup and closure of old landfills.
AND NOW AN ISSUE THAT NEEDS YOUR HELP:
The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee will vote this week on HB 174. The Senate Committee version differs from the House version in how it proposes to fund litter collection and landfill closure.
Rep. Stumbo's bill imposes a modest environmental impact fee of ? of 1 cent on disposable cups and fast food packaging, and a $1 per ton tipping fee on municipal solid waste disposed at landfills, to fund the Kentucky Pride Fund" in order to generate revenues for old landfill closure, dump clean, education and litter control.
Senate Committee Substitute 1 removes the advance disposal fees, and retains the landfill tipping fee. That fee is directed to pay the debt service on a bond issue of $45 million to fund assessment and closure of old landfills by the Cabinet. $10 million in the Governor's contingency road fund would be used, under a Senate Committee amendment expected to be offered, to fund roadside litter collection in cities and counties.
The Cabinet is authorized to reimburse counties eligible under the "clean counties" program for up to 75% of costs for cleaning up old open dumps.
The major gaps in the Senate approach are: (a) lack of any revenue source for counties for open dump cleanup. The "clean counties" are those that have already certified that they have no open dumps, and are the least needy of counties for new revenues to clean up old open dumps. The removal of the advanced disposal fee leaves a significant funding hole in the open dump cleanup efforts. (b) The bond issue for beginning to address old landfill closure and remediation is a good start, but the lack of recurring revenue will mean that additional monies will be needed in 2004 and beyond. With 136 known historic public and privately owned sites that formerly accepted waste and are not properly closed, with an additional 533 old sites, including dumps and landfills, that need verification, elimination and possible closure monies, $45 million will only begin the process. The average cost estimate for closing the historic sites was set at $200,000, which is an extremely low number given that the cost of closure of one county landfill alone recently was $4.1 million, according to County Judge Mike Miller. (c) The Senate bill removes the 1.5 million of funding for the Environmental Education Master Plan.
On the positive side, the bill retains the landfill tipping fee and strengthens language on the assessment of that fee on transfer stations. This represents the first time that the current Senate leadership has conceptually agreed to a dedicated new fee for solid waste management rather than relying solely on voluntary check offs or general fund monies, and is an important step towards generating a dedicated revenue stream.
Please call (1-800-372-7181) and fax (1-502-564-6543) TODAY to Senators Harris, Tori, Worley, Pendleton, Scorsone, Shaughnessy, Leeper, Moore, Herron and Kelly and ask them to approve HB 174 with the advance disposal fee intact, or if they vote to replace the original bill with the Senate Committee Substitute, to identify another dedicated revenue source sufficient to meet ongoing needs in the area of open dump remediation. Ask also that a $1.5 million of the proposed funding in the Senate Committee Substitute be used to fully fund the Environmental Education Master Plan.