Senate OKs mega-landfill bill

Posted June 24, 2013
Updated June 25, 2013

R3 will incorporate the mining of existing landfills to reduce emissions and reclaim impacted lands in New Hanover County.

— A controversial proposal to loosen the rules for landfills in North Carolina is headed for the House after receiving final Senate approval Monday night.

Senate Bill 328 would allow landfills to be built within 1,500 feet of national wildlife refuges, state parks and game lands. Current law requires a distance of 5 miles from refuges, 2 miles from state parks and 1 mile from game lands.

The bill also allows faster permitting and longer permits (up to 30 years), relaxes regulations on landfill operators and drastically limits the reasons in law for which the Department of Environment and Natural Resources can refuse to issue a permit for a new landfill. 

Garbage trucks would no longer be required to be leak-proof, just leak-resistant. 

The Senate approved an amendment by Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, to give the military a method to object to proposed landfills that could interfere with training or operations. Military officials were reportedly concerned about potential problems with landfills near bases. 

But they turned down an amendment by Sen Ben Clark, D-Cumberland, that would have re-instituted the buffer requirements near sensitive conservation areas. Bill sponsors said those buffers are the restrictions that have stopped new landfills from being constructed since their implementation in 2007. 

Sen. Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford, called the bill "an assault on the health and well-being" of North Carolinians in low-income and rural areas.

"Traditionally, landfills have been built in low-income and minority communities." Robinson said, listing health problems in one such community in Greensboro that are linked to a nearby landfill. "Senate Bill 328 is an attack on the environment in which our children and citizens must live." 

She also criticized the proposal to allow trash trucks to leak, which she said will pollute streets and "adhere to the hands and mouths of children."

The final Senate vote on the bill was 29-16, with Republican Sens. Neal Hunt of Wake County, Louis Pate of Wayne County and Ronald Rabin of Harnett County joining Democrats in opposition.


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  • geosol Jun 25, 2013

    More ways to privatize profits and socialize losses brought to you by the NC REPUBLICAN from the Waste Management Industry off of this? I hope it was worth it to them, because they don't have much time left to take more bribes from their little buddies to pass more incredibly bad legislation like this. So go on, take the money and RUN, REPUBLICANS!!!

  • geosol Jun 25, 2013

    Worst. Legislature. Ever. REMEMBER in 2014 and VOTE AGAINST ALL REPUBLICANS IN EVERY RACE!!! Don't let the REPUBLICANS continue to trash N.C.

  • dbutler14 Jun 25, 2013

    Doesn't take a PhD to know where the landfills will end up when there are no restrictions. We should stand up for all who will be affected by this Bill.

  • European American Jun 25, 2013

    Let's hope the GOP throw themselves into the landfills!

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Jun 25, 2013

    This is a shame, indeed. But it's also great - many more North Carolina citizens will now join the Common Sense majority in the next election, extreme gerrymandering won't save them now.

  • monami Jun 25, 2013

    I would love to be privy to the dealings that underlie this legislation.

    Most bizarre is the flock of sheep (GOP senators) who didn't have the guts to cross the line to thwart this flagrant attack on NC's environment. What, or should I say "who" are they afraid of? Kudos to senators Hunt, Pate and Rabin for having such courage!

    And why were 4 of the 17 democratic senators absent for this vote? That's one-forth of the democratic representation! Clodfelter, Graham, Jenkins and Nesbitt

  • rushbot Jun 25, 2013

    there is a huge difference between leak proof and leak resistant..in the future when you are stuck behind a garbage truck and pure liquid nastiness oozes out of the merely resistant parts and it sprays on your car, well..oh well..Art Pope has received his marching orders from the Koch brothers in Kansas..old license plate slogan: "FIRST IN FLIGHT"..new license plate slogan: "FIRST IN GARBAGE".. .. .. .. .. ..why do republicans hate the environment????

  • CriticalThinking Jun 25, 2013

    This is a shame. Our LEGISLATURE decides now is the time to act when DENR forecasts landfill capacity is available for another 30 years. They are in reality creating problems (pollution, misuse of land, health concerns and endangering our natural resources) in the present and future. Another gift wrapped up with a big “IOU” card to our youth.

  • nav2011Raleigh Jun 25, 2013

    For Sen. Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford: Were you in office when Mike Easley was running for Gov? He took big campaign contributions and ignored or closed the investigative cases on polluted sites just for him to get campaign $$$. Why did you not speak out then? Double standard here! Also, what alternate have you suggested? Probably none! Go home or fine something else to do................

  • rlsmith5 Jun 25, 2013

    Why doesn't Trudy Wade have them put it next to her house if it such a great idea and see how much she likes it.