UNION COUNTY — The Union County Council is unanimously opposed to a bill currently pending action in the South Carolina Senate.
During Monday evening’s meeting, County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair brought South Carolina Bill H. 3290 — relating to solid waste flow control — to the attention of council members.
Bill H. 3290 invalidates any county ordinance directing where solid waste is disposed as well as any ordinance that “impedes the development of public or private solid waste or recycling program regardless of location.”
On February 27, the South Carolina Association of Counties (SCAC) — an organization dedicated to the statewide representation of county government in South Carolina — alerted county councils throughout the state of its opposition to the “legislative efforts to undermine counties’ authority to address their responsibilities regarding the disposal of solid waste.”
“The direction of the flow of solid waste is essential to county governments managing solid waste responsibilities as mandated by the state and federal governments,” SCAC staff stated. “Please contact all senators and the Lieutenant Governor to urge their complete opposition to this legislation.”
The alert stated that the bill would forbid current and future county ordinances directing where solid waste goes. For example, if any company were to apply with South Carolina DHEC and receive a permit for a landfill in Union County, the county’s ordinances and land use regulations — which would possibly prevent construction of the facility — would no longer have an effect.
Union County Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution expressing opposition to the bill. As of Thursday evening, a resolution had been drafted but not yet signed.
“I would think as a rural county, we are a target for even outside entities to come in and build a landfill,” said council member Frank Hart. “This would not be good for any of the rural counties in South Carolina where there is a lot of open, low-cost property.”
The alert council received also stated that if the bill passes, it will reverse over two decades of county investment and planning after the General Assembly passed the Solid Waste Planning and Management Act in 1991. This would take away counties’ ability to regulate activities of private landfill operations and control over the siting of a landfill within the county.
“The mandated responsibility for solid waste and recycling currently has a net cost to counties and their taxpayers of over $55 million annually,” the SCAC stated. “This cost will be significantly increased if H.3290 passes while a traditional function of local government, protecting public health and managing solid waste, suffers a catastrophic blow.”
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.