Problematic landfill bills defeated in Senate committee

February 4, 2021

Three problematic bills prohibiting the placement and permitting for landfills have been effectively defeated in the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee on February 4.

SB 1186 (Hashmi) preempted local authority, prohibiting the construction of any new municipal solid waste landfill within three miles of any designated historic district, building, structure, object, or site.

SB 1200 (Hashmi) required any application to store, provide treatment for, or dispose of hazardous waste or an application for a new solid waste management facility permit, except for a noncaptive industrial landfill, to include certification from the governing body for each locality within a five-mile radius of the facility, other than the locality in which the facility is or will be located, granting approval of the facility or activity.

SB 1319 (Hashmi) prohibited the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Virginia Waste Management Board from issuing any permit for the construction, modification, or expansion of a new or existing municipal solid waste landfill that will accept 3,500 tons or more of municipal solid waste per day until the General Assembly enacts legislation incorporating the findings and recommendations of the Waste Diversion and Recycling Task Force.  The bill further expanded the scope and timeline of the Task Force.

VACo was on hand to testify before the Committee on these bills. VACo opposed SB 1186 and SB 1200, which were passed by indefinitely by the Committee.  VACo had no position on the expansion of the Task Force study in SB 1319 but did have concerns about the permit freeze proposed.  The Committee ultimately stripped the permit freeze language, included only the language expanding the work of the Task Force, and reported the bill.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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