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General Assembly Must Override HB 56 Veto

| Environmental & Regulatory Reform

Chances are you’ve heard about House Bill 56: Amend Environmental Laws and some of its politicized provisions, especially following the veto of the legislation last week. While most associate the bill with one controversial provision, there is another that has largely gone ignored and is critical to securing North Carolina’s competitive future. This important measure changes flow control restrictions for municipal solid waste (MSW) management facilities, initiating the orderly phase out of local government control over MSW management.

You might be wondering why flow control and solid waste management matters to your business. That’s simple. Flow control restrictions create a monopoly in waste disposal, giving local governments an unfair advantage when competing with the private sector. These restrictions allow local governments to benefit from costly tipping fees, which in actuality act as a hidden tax that makes waste disposal more expensive. The bottom line is that flow control costs businesses more.

Since the 1990s, it has been North Carolina’s policy to reduce the number of small, inefficient local landfills and have private industry increase investment into larger facilities that are safer and more economically viable. Not only do private regional facilities have more resources to invest in safer and innovative operations, the competition among private facilities allows them to offer services at the lowest possible cost. With 60% of North Carolina’s solid waste already disposed of through eight privately-owned regional MSW landfills, it makes no sense to keep restrictions in place that hinder competition and cost North Carolinians more.

It is for that reason, the General Assembly must override the veto of House Bill 56. If the cost alone is not reason enough, consider this: North Carolina already generates more than 9 million tons of waste annually and is set to add another two million residents in the next decade. Imagine the trouble our state will encounter without a modern, efficient solid waste management program in place. The provision included in House Bill 56 is just one step in creating that plan. This is an issue that affects every business across our state, which is why we are collecting signatures for these letters to state House and Senate leadership, urging a veto override of House Bill 56. If you would like to sign onto these letters, please email Jason Soper, director of governmental affairs, indicating how you’d like the name of your business to appear. Thank you in advance for lending your voice to this important issue and joining the aligned business community in fighting for our state’s competitive future.

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber