from the organization Conservation Alabama
In two separate committees Tuesday, legislators will hear bills that
would enhance local communities’ ability to control their own future in
regards to landfill and quarry operations. Legislators need to hear
from you in order to get these important bills out of committee.
A few years ago, activists helped pass a bill that gave county
commissions a say in the siting of landfill operations. But there was a
small provision in the bill – if a county commission takes no action on
a landfill application within 90 days, the landfill is automatically
SB330, sponsored by Senator Wendell Mitchell, would simply change the
language of the law to make a landfill application denied after 90 days
of inaction. This change should push county commissions to take a vote
so citizens see where their commissioners stand on proposed landfills.
Additionally, county commissions have no authority over quarry operations. Conservation Alabama has pushed statewide legislation (this year it is SB131) for years that would give counties the authority to approve or disapprove quarries – similar to SB330. However, that has received little traction.
Some leaders in Limestone County have been opposed to a quarry proposed near the town of Tanner. Senators Tom Butler and Arthur Orr have proposed SB190, which gives the Limestone County Commission the ability to approve or disapprove quarries that are not within municipal limits. Also, with Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant just down the road, some are afraid the blasting from the proposed quarry will affect the nuclear plant. SB391 would prohibit quarries within 10 miles of a nuclear plant in Limestone County.
All three bills will place authority on landfills and quarries where it needs to be: at the county level. With a click of the mouse, you can tell the Senate Government Affairs Committee to pass SB330 and the Local Legislation #1 Committee to pass SB190 and SB391. Citizens should have a say about what is happening in their local communities.
With both committees meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday, we only have 24 hours to let legislators know that we want these three bills passed out of committee. Click on the links below to let your voice be heard and support local communities ability to decide their own fate when it comes to landfills and quarries.
Deadline for responding: Please take action by 1 p.m. March 25, 2008.