- New West Virginia legislation (SB 601), passed by both the House and Senate, relinquishes materials recovery facilities (MRFs) or mixed-waste facilities from having to get the state’s Public Service Commission's (PSC) approval to manage waste.
- The legislation insists that MRFs would need to answer to a local solid waste authority and obtain a permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Additionally, the House approved an amendment that will still require PSC approval to receive oil and natural gas waste.
- The bill is intended to help contractors locate West Virginia recycling facilities, and House Judiciary Chairman John Shott reasoned that it would remove unnecessary layers; additionally the revised rules would make curbside recycling easier as residents would not have to separate materials for mixed-waste facilities, as reported in West Virginia Gazette. SB 601 awaits final approval.
While the bill passed by a near landslide of 90-7, a few delegates believe the changes are a step backward, reversing necessary, stringent waste management rules.
Adopted more than 20 years ago, such rules were established to prevent implementation of multiple "megadumps" that would have otherwise been able to receive millions of tons of out-of-state trash. Though in 2013 the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection began allowing landfills to accept an unlimited amount of waste from fracking.
"There was a great concern that West Virginia was going to become the garbage dump of the nation," said Delegate Barbara Fleischauer, one of the opponents, as reported in the West Virginia Gazette.
Also voting against the overall bill were Delegates Shawn Fluharty, Rick Moye, Don Perdue, Matthew Rohrbach, Steven Shaffer, and Erikka Storch.