Guest blogger Adam Snyder, an environmental lobbyist, offers the following wrap-up and analysis of recent green-related activity in the Alabama legislature.
A ban on new dumps in Alabama may be extended to 2014.
Originally designated to end May 31, 2013, the landfill moratorium prohibits the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and other agencies to issue new landfill permits.
The legislation also directs ADEM, along with the Alabama Department of Public Health, to study existing landfill regulations and to update the state’s solid waste management plan.
Those efforts are expected to need more time than the existing moratorium will allow, so 20 legislators are seeking to extend the new landfill ban until 2014.
Groups like the Citizens for a Clean Southwest Alabama and the Lowndes Citizens United for Action have been fighting proposed dumps for years. Other groups, like those in Perry County, are dealing with the ramifications of landfills in their mostly minority and impoverished community.
In other matters, last week Rep. Greg Wren, R-Montgomery introduced the House companion (HB518) to a SB72 from Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) to create the “energy and fuel research and development grants program” in the Department of Agriculture.
While Ward’s bill has been awaiting a Senate vote for a few weeks, Wren’s bill will be before the House Agriculture and Forestry Committee this week.
The bill to update the qualifications for members of the Alabama Environmental Management Commission is before the House Commerce and Small Business Committee this week.
This bill would expand qualifications for certain posts, clarify qualifications in others, and limit appointees to two six-year terms instead of the current three six-year terms.
Snyder’s updates are also posted on the Alabama Conservationist blog at conservationalabama.wordpress.com.
You can find a detailed summary of all eco-related bills in Conservation Alabama’s Hot List at www.conservationalabama.org.