- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is proposing to raise statewide municipal waste tipping fees from $6.25 a ton to $8 a ton to support environmental programs, but Sen. John Blake want to pump some of the fee increase into municipal recycling programs to offset the impact of the expansion of Dunmore's Keystone Sanitary Landfill.
- The fee would be billed to haulers of construction and demolition waste and those who dump waste from treatment processes, which are subject to no expense now.
- The governor wants to funnel $35 million from the fee into the state Oil and Gas Fund paid by gas drillers who penetrate state forest land to support the state's Environmental Stewardship Fund and Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund, as reported in Citizens Voice.
Constituents on either side of the fence are thinking ahead about how to best utilize the fees. The governor is trying to find the financial means to preserve the environmental and hazardous site cleanup funds that have depended on the state Oil and Gas Fund paid by drillers, as revenues from Marcellus Shale wells on state forest land are expected to drop 40% this fiscal year due to decreases in gas prices and drilling projects.
Meanwhile, Blake is thinking about the Keystone Sanitary Landfill expansion. He’s focusing specifically on how its lifespan and capacity depend on recycling rates, which can be boosted with the help of such fee increases. A county in Florida just raised its tipping fee for the first time in 20 years to help fund its landfill expansion.
He and John Quigley, secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection, are considering trying to push through Act 101, which mandates recycling in Pennsylvania’s largest municipalities and requires counties to develop municipal waste management plans.