Landfill, plastics bills clear panel

February 20, 1993|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,Staff Writer

A Senate committee has approved a bill that would give the state Department of the Environment broad powers to regulate new landfills.

Another measure to require that certain plastic bottles and containers sold in the state contain 25 percent recycled material also received a favorable vote.

But the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee delayed the effective date until 1996.

The landfill bill, Senate Bill 310, authorizes the state to take into account several factors when licensing new trash disposal areas or expansions of old facilities.

The factors are: an appropriate buffer zone between the landfill and its neighborhood, truck traffic, noise, odors and dust.

"When we met with citizens' groups, we found that these were their main concerns," said Sen. Gerald W. Winegrad, D-Anne Arundel, a member of the committee and one of the bill's sponsors. He explained that both of these bills came out of meetings of a variety of people interested in environmental legislation held last fall. "We purposefully did not put in specific requirements because that would not be appropriate," he said. "Every situation is different. We leave that up to the secretary to determine."

Taken out of the bill was a section that would charge each landfill operator a fee of $1 a ton that would go toward supporting the state's recycling efforts.

The recycling bill that was approved, Senate Bill 258, would require 25 percent content in plastic soda and dish-washing-liquid bottles and similar plastic containers.

The original bill called for its implementation in July of next year.

But, while those supporting it agreed to put it off until 1995, the committee voted to delay it until 1996, a year after similar legislation goes into effect in California.

Both bills are expected to face a tough time in the House, which killed a similar plastic recycling measure last year.

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