Advocacy groups challenge EPA landfill-related decision

Four environment-focused advocacy groups have filed a court motion challenging a recent decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “suspend long-standing rules that limit hazardous and climate-warming emissions from landfills.”

An announcement by the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Boston, says it has been joined by the Clean Air Council, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Clean Wisconsin in a legal argument claiming that “suspending the landfill emissions rule was arbitrary and unlawful.”

The announcement continues, “There is no reason to harm the health of everyday people so that businesses can further line their pockets and pollute our air. We ask the court to restore this rule immediately.”

The Trump administration EPA has ordered the agency to delay enforcing Obama-era rules designed to monitor, divert and more strictly limit emissions of methane and other gases from landfills.

The 208-page court motion concludes that the EPA has “identified no issue where reconsideration was required under section 307(d)(7)(B) [and] his stay of the landfill rules was arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law. The court should grant the motion for summary disposition on the merits and vacate EPA’s unlawful administrative stay.”

Earlier in 2017, the same groups successfully challenged an EPA decision to delay emissions rules that apply to oil and gas well drilling sites.




Illinois passes bill exempting C&D debris from franchise waste agreements

© Olivier Le Queinec | Dreamstime

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill (SB) 1807 into law Aug. 24, 2017. The new law exempts construction and demolition (C&D) debris from franchise waste agreements in the state.

According to the Construction & Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA), headquartered in Milwaukee, nine municipalities continue to have monopoly franchises with C&D debris grandfathered in, but this new law prevents others from including C&D materials in their franchises.

While the bill faced opposition from some landfill and hauling companies, it passed in both chambers of the Illinois legislature.

“This bill took our state chapter three years to get passed but was worth the effort because it will help ensure an open marketplace for the flow of C&D materials to C&D recyclers in our state,” says Ken Hoving of Chicago-based Lakeshore Recycling Systems, a CDRA board member and the chair of the national organization’s legislative committee. “Our efforts can also provide a blueprint for recyclers in other states to use to overcome the monopoly practices that block C&D recyclers access to recyclable debris that otherwise could go to the landfill.”

An excerpt from the bill reads, “On and after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly, a municipality with a population of less than 1 million shall not enter into any new contracts with any other unit of local government, by intergovernmental agreement or otherwise, or with any corporation or person relating to the collecting and final disposition of general construction or demolition debris; except that this sentence does not apply to a municipality with a population of less than 1 million that is a party to: (1) a contract relating to the collecting and final disposition of general construction or demolition debris on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly; or (2) the renewal or extension of a contract relating to the collecting and final disposition of general construction or demolition debris irrespective of whether the contract automatically renews, is amended or is subject to a new request for proposal after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly.”