Problematic landfill bills to be heard in Senate Committee

February 2, 2021

Three problematic land use bills pertaining to landfills have been referred to the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee and will be heard early next week.

SB 1186 (Hashmi) preempts 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. The location of such public facilities is outlined in local comprehensive plans that are developed by local planning commissions with input from citizens. This bill’s arbitrary three-mile prohibition would severely limit their placement. VACo opposes SB 1186.

SB 1200 (Hashmi) requires 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 1200 would effectively pit localities against one another, effectively granting a neighboring locality control over another locality’s land use decisions.  VACo opposes SB 1200 and has historically opposed similar legislation that creates such adversarial situations.

SB 1319 (Hashmi) prohibits 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.  SB 1319 also requests the Department to continue expand the scope of the Task Force and continue its work through 2022.  VACo does not oppose the expansion in scope or timeline for the Task Force but does have concerns about the results of the proposed permit freeze.

SB 1186, SB 1200, and SB 1319 will be heard in the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee late Tuesday afternoon (February 2).

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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