Report from the WV Environmental Council about the status of HB 4411
Public Hearing on Landfill/Drill Cuttings Bill – Monday at 5:00 PM
By Donald S. Garvin, Jr.
WVEC Legislative Coordinator
There will be a public hearing on HB 4411 Monday, February 17 at 5:00 PM in the House Chamber.
HB 4411 is the House bill that will allow unlimited amounts of gas well drill cuttings and drilling mud to be dumped in any WV commercial sold waste landfill and exceed the legally established tonnage caps for those landfills.
The one bright spot in the bill as drafted is that any solid waste facility taking drill cuttings and drilling waste must install radiation monitors, and the Secretary of DEP “must promulgate emergency and legislative rules to, at a minimum, establish a radiation limit and establish the procedures the facility must follow if that limit is exceeded.” However, under the bill, the facilities have until January 1, 2015, to comply.
This bill is DEP and industry backed legislation. DEP does not know what else to do with this huge new waste stream. The original versions of HB 4411 and SB 474 (a “same as” bill in the Senate) did not contain the monitoring provisions, until we complained that Secretary Huffman had publicly agreed to include them.
There are a couple of new bills, SB 591 and SB 594, that address the issue in a different way. We are looking at those now.
WVEC will be testifying at the public hearing and asking:
Require separate new landfills just for this waste.
Require the drilling companies to pay for the construction and operation of these landfills, as well as tipping fees to be used for the benefit of the state and communities.
Require installation of the radiation monitors within six months of bill passage.
Contact your delegates and senators about your concerns with HB 4411.