Senate Committee Approves Piccola Bill Giving Communities More Say Over Landfills

Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Senate Republican Communications

    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The PA Senate Environmental
 Resources and Energy Committee unanimously approved legislation by Senate
 Majority Whip Jeffrey Piccola (R-15) today that would make the solid waste
 industry more accountable to the Commonwealth by giving citizens a much
 stronger voice regarding the operation of landfills in their communities.
     The measure now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
     The legislation would require every municipality that hosts or may host a
 solid waste landfill to complete a Host Municipality Agreement (HMA) with the
 landfill's owner/operator, and to involve the community from the beginning of
 the process.  The approval of an application permit for a proposed landfill or
 an expansion of an existing facility by the Department of Environmental
 Protection (DEP) is contingent upon successful completion of a HMA.  In
 addition, existing landfills would have to create a new or revised HMA within
 two to five years, depending on specific circumstances at each facility, in
 order to continue operating.
     Piccola emphasized that his bill would require municipalities to hold
 public meetings and hearings during the HMA process, with ample notice
 provided to citizens so they can attend and participate in discussions between
 their local government and the owner/operator.  The HMA would also contain
 specific concerns that the local community may have about the landfill in
 order to assist DEP with its consideration.  Both DEP and the host
 municipality would have enforcement powers over aspects of the HMA.
     The measure also contains a new requirement to register waste trucks with
 DEP, which would keep an active log of all legal operators and vehicles.  This
 new power would allow DEP to fine violators and remove non-compliant vehicles
 from the road.
     "This legislation is the product of over a year's worth of intense
 negotiations with the solid waste industry," said Piccola.  "It gives
 communities a strong voice over the waste industry for the first time, and
 empowers them to do something about the local nuisance issues that frequently
 result from landfill operations, such as foul odors, noise, traffic and
 pollution.  Giving citizens an opportunity to be involved in the process and
 to make their concerns known is a major step toward changing the way landfills
 are approved in Pennsylvania, and toward making this industry more accountable
 to the people."
     Piccola commended Senator Mary Jo White (R-21), who chairs the
 Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, for co-sponsoring the measure
 and scheduling its consideration.  He also praised Senator Ralph Musto (D-14)
 for his co-sponsorship, and noted that Representative Samuel Smith (R-66) will
 introduce a companion measure in the House in the near future.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X66234332
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Senate Republican Communications
    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The PA Senate Environmental
 Resources and Energy Committee unanimously approved legislation by Senate
 Majority Whip Jeffrey Piccola (R-15) today that would make the solid waste
 industry more accountable to the Commonwealth by giving citizens a much
 stronger voice regarding the operation of landfills in their communities.
     The measure now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
     The legislation would require every municipality that hosts or may host a
 solid waste landfill to complete a Host Municipality Agreement (HMA) with the
 landfill's owner/operator, and to involve the community from the beginning of
 the process.  The approval of an application permit for a proposed landfill or
 an expansion of an existing facility by the Department of Environmental
 Protection (DEP) is contingent upon successful completion of a HMA.  In
 addition, existing landfills would have to create a new or revised HMA within
 two to five years, depending on specific circumstances at each facility, in
 order to continue operating.
     Piccola emphasized that his bill would require municipalities to hold
 public meetings and hearings during the HMA process, with ample notice
 provided to citizens so they can attend and participate in discussions between
 their local government and the owner/operator.  The HMA would also contain
 specific concerns that the local community may have about the landfill in
 order to assist DEP with its consideration.  Both DEP and the host
 municipality would have enforcement powers over aspects of the HMA.
     The measure also contains a new requirement to register waste trucks with
 DEP, which would keep an active log of all legal operators and vehicles.  This
 new power would allow DEP to fine violators and remove non-compliant vehicles
 from the road.
     "This legislation is the product of over a year's worth of intense
 negotiations with the solid waste industry," said Piccola.  "It gives
 communities a strong voice over the waste industry for the first time, and
 empowers them to do something about the local nuisance issues that frequently
 result from landfill operations, such as foul odors, noise, traffic and
 pollution.  Giving citizens an opportunity to be involved in the process and
 to make their concerns known is a major step toward changing the way landfills
 are approved in Pennsylvania, and toward making this industry more accountable
 to the people."
     Piccola commended Senator Mary Jo White (R-21), who chairs the
 Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, for co-sponsoring the measure
 and scheduling its consideration.  He also praised Senator Ralph Musto (D-14)
 for his co-sponsorship, and noted that Representative Samuel Smith (R-66) will
 introduce a companion measure in the House in the near future.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X66234332
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Senate Republican Communications