Some economic activities don't pass the smell test:
"The bill is an engraved invitation for mega-dumps, mega-landfills to come into North Carolina," said Molly Diggins, the Sierra Club's state director, adding that "instead of focusing on how to have a balance among competing interests, it puts landfills first before people or natural resources."
Disposing of the trash generated by the most prosperous nation in the world is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and states with weakened environmental regulations are the favorite target of Big Trash:
"It was hard enough to site a solid waste landfill prior to 2007. It's basically impossible now," said Sandy Sands, a veteran legislative lobbyist representing the National Solid Wastes Management Association. Sands said repeatedly it's not the intent of association members to pass the bill so they can immediately build landfills. "What the association is trying to do is make it feasible to site a landfill if it's necessary _ if it's economic necessary and environmentally necessary."
A version that passed the Senate environment committee earlier this month would narrow reasons why the Department of Environment and Natural Resources could reject a permit application. An environmental impact report wouldn't be required on commercial landfill applications, removing an opportunity for public comment.
Waste Industries and other industry companies have hired several registered lobbyists. The state Court of Appeals upheld the 2007 law last year following a lawsuit by Waste Industries challenging it.
And for those who would argue these landfills are necessary for our own wastes, and would not necessarily draw trash from other states, think again. This franchise application (previously and wisely denied) openly declares that 51 million people from seven states (including DC) would be served.
We've got enough of our own problems to deal with, we don't need to become the dumping ground of the Southeast.