Conspiracy theorists take center stage

In a compromise amendment, the Scrap Tire Fund will be raided for two years.

Last week, the first week back after the legislative spring break, the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee passed HB608 with one amendment. That amendment would divert funding from the Scrap Tire Fund for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, but will return the funding to the program in fiscal years 2015 and beyond.

The Scrap Tire Commission was created in 2003 after a study showed that more than five million scrap tires were produced annually in Alabama, another four to five million scrap tires were being shipped to Alabama annually, and 14 to 20 million scrap tires were either stockpiled or disposed of illegally. A $1 fee is assessed per tire sold in the state to support the program to clean up stockpiles, better enforce scrap tire disposal and cut down on illegal dumps, and create recycling opportunities for the scrap tires. ADEM, on behalf of the Scrap Tire Commission, has removed millions of scrap tires from more than 50 sites throughout the state.

In other matters, companion bills that would “prohibit the State of Alabama and its political subdivisions from adopting and developing environmental and developmental policies that, without due process, would infringe or restrict the private property rights of the owner of the property” were introduced by Rep. Stephen McMillan, R-Bay Minette in the House and Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville in the Senate. These bills could be put in the same conspiracy categories as black helicopters and the lone gunman as they explicitly discuss “Agenda 21″ – a set of United Nations recommendations adopted in 1992 about development patterns and environmental policy. The Senate version of the bill is before the Government Affairs Committee at 1 p.m. on 4/10 in Room 727 of the Statehouse.

You can follow legislation related to the environment each week on Conservation Alabama’s Hot List at conservationalabama.org.

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