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April 2007

North Carolina proposes tighter landfill regulations

North Carolina has proposed new landfill regulation that would ban building landfills too close to watersheds and wetlands. The proposals will be drafted into a bill in the near future and would include review of operators backgrounds and require permit holders to maintain at least $3 million to pay for problems at landfills.

The North Carolina Environmental Review Commission must approve the draft landfill law and send it to the state’s General Assembly for a vote.

If it passes, a new permit would cost $50,000 for large landfills. Landfill owners would have to hire an independent engineer to oversee construction. Double liners and leak detection systems would be required. The state would collect $2 per ton surcharge on every ton of waste to help pay for orphan site cleanup.

Environmental groups lobbied for more control as at least four large landfill projects were proposed in North Carolina.

In August, state lawmakers declared a one-year moratorium on landfills and charged the North Carolina Environmental Review Commission with studying the issue and making recommendations.

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