Opposition Grows to California’s AB 1178 Over Statewide Power Grab
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Opponents of AB 1178 announced today that the coalition of public agencies and non-profit organizations lining up against the bill is expanding as momentum grows for its defeat. AB 1178 (Ma – San Francisco) would create a new statewide law to override local laws aimed at limiting waste imports into a community.
The bill is opposed by California’s leading environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, Planning and Conservation League, National Resources Defense Council, Californians Against Waste, and the California League of Conservation Voters. Public agency opponents include the Counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, Kern, Alameda, and Yuba. The Solid Waste Management Association of North America, California Chapters, which have more than 900 members, and the League of California Cities are also urging the defeat of AB 1178.
In an opinion-editorial published in today’s Sacramento Bee, long-time Sierra Club leader Carl Pope argued that, “Supporters of AB 1178 allege that the bill would help ensure there is adequate landfill capacity to meet the state’s needs. But there is already enough landfill capacity to accommodate the state’s waste for decades to come. Passing a law that encourages sending waste to landfills means that communities would have little incentive to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost.”
If enacted into law, AB 1178 would give privately-owned landfills autonomy over how much waste to import into a community and eliminate the right of local voters and elected officials to set limits on such imports. According to the bill’s legislative history, it was designed explicitly to overturn a Solano County voter mandate that dates back to 1984 and caps the amount of waste that may be imported into that county at 95,000 tons annually.
“AB 1178 sets a dangerous precedent on a number of levels. State senators should think about whether they are ready to cede land use and waste management decisions to private companies,” Mr. Pope continued.
AB 1178 is likely to be voted on by the full State Senate in the coming weeks. If it passes, it must also be reheard by the State Assembly before being presented to Governor Brown. For more information about AB 1178, see: http://sierraclubcalifornia.org/2011/07/21/thats-a-load-of-garbage/.
SOURCE The Sierra Club