As we make our way into the last quarter of this Legislative Session, there is both good and bad news for conservation issues. Last week House Bill 292, a bill supported by Conservation Alabama, passed the House. On Wednesday it will go before the Senate committee on Commerce, Transportation and Utilities for a public hearing and vote. HB292 would remove the 90-day default approval of solid waste landfills and instead create a default denial after 120 days. The bill also requires applicants to provide fact-based information supporting their proposal both to the public and to the governmental authority responsible for permitting. Although the substitute bill only provides for new solid waste facilities, exempting modifications to existing facilities, Conservation Alabama believes this bill will provide positive changes for the permitting process of solid waste landfills.
Also moving quickly are companion bills SB355 and HB475. This legislation would restrict local governments’ ability to control pollution into nearby waterways. HB475 has already made its way through the House Commerce Committee and last week SB355 advanced from the Senate committee on Energy and Natural Resources. These bills could now make their way to the House and Senate floor for a vote. Conservation Alabama recently sent an action alert on behalf of Alabama Rivers Alliance and the Alabama Stormwater Partnership opposing these bills. Please visit our action page to ask your Senator and Representative to vote NO on HB475/SB355.