State Policy and Legislation – Chair Michael Foote

During the September Governor’s Citizens Advisory Group on Solid Waste, we presented an idea and suggestion regarding a legislative initiative. Our suggestion, Annual MSW and Waste Diversion Reporting, was received with enthusiasm.  Through the efforts of WSWRA Lobbyist and subcommittee member Mark Pepper, we found ourselves on the Joint Minerals Committee September 27, 2013 agenda. The group worked quickly to draft language for submittal to the Legislative Service Office (LSO). From there a draft, 14LSO-0181.W1 Reporting requirements for solid waste facilities, was created.  The draft was moving along fairly well and seemed to have the support of the Joint Minerals Committee until we hit a couple of obstacles.

A few WSWRA members voiced concerns via email during our internal review process. The concerns were primarily related to reporting requirements outlined in the draft. In addition, we felt that “industry” needed to be included in the bill to fully reflect the diversion taking place in the state. As a result, Senator Rothfuss and Representative Greear asked the committee to hold off for a year. This will allow us additional time to better educate our members and to reach out to the private sector. The subcommittee feels that a better understanding of the rationale and purpose of the bill will help us reach consensus from each stakeholder group.

The State Policy and Legislation Subcommittee will be suggesting for “down the road” consideration to have the MSW and Diversion Reporting Bill be a standalone bill, not an amendment to HB0066. This way both government and industry can contribute to the data collection of state-wide activities.