On Friday, the Health Government Organization committee is taking up HB 4443 – “Shifting funding from the Landfill Closure Assistance Fund to local solid waste authorities” This bill takes more money from the DEP, endangering our health and safety.
The WVDEP has several landfills left to close with costs that vary from $3M-$12M. Not only do they have to close the remaining landfills, the State has a 30-year obligation for ongoing maintenance at closed landfills. One example of continued maintenance is collecting, treating, and disposing of leachate (a toxic black sludge generated from rainfall and waste). This bill would cut the DEP’s revenue for closing landfills by 28.6% per year, prolonging the process of closing landfills and leaving them unable to close them all.
During the 2019 session, a very similar bill, SB147 passed both houses and was vetoed by the Governor citing “the fee reduction to the Closure Fund will severely impair the DEP’s ability to continue maintenance on the already closed landfills and to the ability to close the upcoming ones in a safe manner; posing a threat to the health and safety of our citizens.”
While we agree that Solid Waste Authorities are struggling to meet recycling and litter control needs, robbing Peter to pay Paul only creates more problems and puts everyone at risk.
We urge you to say NO to HB4443.