It seems that most years, we are fighting to keep funds in the DEP’s Landfill Closure program.
The bill that was taken up in House Government Org on Friday, HB4443, is meant to transfer $1 from the DEP’s Landfill “tipping” fee for waste that goes into landfill, taking it from $3.50 per ton to $2.50 per ton.
Our official stance is that while the Solid Waste Authorities would benefit from more funds to work on programs like recycling and litter control, DEP has already appropriated the remaining $20m in the LCAP fund, with more landfills to close! Not only must the remaining landfills be closed, they also require $5m each year basically forever to provide maintenance to the sealed landfills.
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.”
During Friday’s House Government Organization meeting, Delegate Evan Hansen (D-51) amended to bill to still move the funds from LCAP to SWA, but instead of an immediate $1 per ton, it will sunrise in, beginning with 20c per year up to five years, where it will eventually reach $1 per ton.