Current Status Introducing Body:
SenateBill Number: 550Primary Sponsor: PeelerCommittee Number: 13Type of Legislation: CRSubject: Incineration facilitiesResiding Body: SenateCurrent Committee: Medical AffairsComputer Document Number: BR1/1165.ACIntroduced Date: Jan 29, 1991Last History Body: SenateLast History Date: Jan 29, 1991Last History Type: Introduced, referred to CommitteeScope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: PeelerType of Legislation: Concurrent Resolution
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN ---- ------ ------------ ------------------------------ --- 550 Senate Jan 29, 1991 Introduced, referred to 13 CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO PLACE A MORATORIUM ON THE SITING OF NEW INCINERATION FACILITIES IN THE STATE UNTIL PROPER AND ONGOING TESTING HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DETERMINE THE HEALTH RISKS AND EFFECTS OF INCINERATION ON HUMAN LIFE, PLANT LIFE, AND ANIMAL LIFE.
Whereas, the disposal of solid waste is a major environmental problem in this State as well as in all states across the country; and
Whereas, in South Carolina over ten thousand, four hundred forty tons of solid waste are generated each day; and
Whereas, arriving at a reasonable, environmentally sound solution is a task with which this General Assembly currently is faced; and
Whereas, there are methods of addressing this problem that must be scrutinized closely so as to select the best technologies for the good of the State and future generations; and
Whereas, incineration of solid waste is one method presently available to reduce the volume of waste before it is landfilled; and
Whereas, in evaluating the merit and environmental impact of this method it must be recognized that among many experts incineration is perceived as a risky method to employ and that its use is highly controversial; and
Whereas, several issues regarding incineration and incinerator ash are still under debate by the federal Environmental Protection Agency including consideration of incinerator ash as a "special waste" within the parameters of hazardous waste, the role and validity of the toxicity test used for the purpose of categorizing incinerator ash, how ash testing will fit into the solid waste management program, and the potential of separating waste at the source so as to reduce the hazardous nature of incinerator ash; and
Whereas, health risks have emerged as the central focus of the debate over this technology. Incinerators primarily have been characterized as stationary sources of toxic air pollutants with regard to their impact upon ambient air quality; and
Whereas, air pollution sources from incineration include, in addition to the ash, metal byproducts which contribute to the health risks by permeating the atmosphere thereby creating routes of exposure beyond just direct inhalation of the polluted air and adding to the cumulative effect of the exposure to these incinerator associated pollutants; and
Whereas, incinerator ash contains high levels of toxic metals including lead which can cause permanent neurological damage even at low doses, as well as blood, kidney, and bone damage and cadmium which is suspected of causing cancer in humans and which can cause damage to the lungs, kidneys, liver, and bones; and
Whereas, the Environmental Protection Agency has found fly ash to be acutely toxic to aquatic organisms. The EPA has demonstrated that toxic substances in ash can be taken up readily by plants and animals exposed to the ash; and
Whereas, the crop markets in South Carolina, including, but not limited to, soybeans, wheat, and peaches provide seven hundred million dollars annually in revenues to the farming community and, therefore, are critical to maintaining a strong economy within the State; and
Whereas, the livestock and livestock products market plays a vital role in maintaining a strong economy within the State by providing five hundred fifty-two million dollars annually in revenues to the farming community; and
Whereas, in those municipal solid waste management systems that incorporate incineration, it is only one component of the system, and first, opportunities for source reduction, separation, and recycling must be used to their fullest extent, not only to reclaim reusable materials, but also to maximize the safety and efficiency of any subsequent incineration; and
Whereas, those advocating the "mass burn" approach are propelled by the same myth that led to disastrous reliance on mass landfilling, a quick fix to solve a major problem which only creates an even bigger problem; and
Whereas, communities that recycle will find themselves in direct competition with incinerator companies where counties or municipalities that contract with these companies will have to guarantee a minimum tonnage of waste to the incinerator, thereby compromising or eliminating incentives to reduce waste through recycling methods which will affect available markets for recycled products. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:
That a moratorium be placed on the siting of new incineration facilities in the State until proper and ongoing testing has been accomplished by the federal government to determine the health risks and effects of incineration on human life, plant life, and animal life.