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2009 End of Session Wrap-up

As the House adjourned for the 1st session of the 83rd General Assembly, the House Republican Research Staff put together an end of session wrap-up of notable bills in all committees.

2009 End of Session Wrap-up

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New Tire Tax Measure Passed By House Environmental Protection Committee

From this week’s House Republican Newsletter:

On Thursday, March 12, 2009, the House Environmental Protection Committee passed House Study bill 267, which became House File 798, by a party-line 12-aye to 9-nay vote. The bill creates a new state Waste Tire Stewardship and Management fund. The fund is financed with a new tire tax of $1 per tire sold at retail.

tiresThe tax commences on July 1, 2009, and generates an estimated $3-million in revenue each year. The bill eliminates the existing waste tire management fund, for which the funding mechanism expired in 2006, which funded that program with revenues from a portion of the surcharge on motor-vehicle title transfers that generated about $1-million a year. The new tire tax proposed by HF 798 is not assessed on resold used tires, recapped tires, or bicycle tires.

The bill provides that $400,000 of the funds raised each year are to register and permit waste tire processing, storage and hauling operations. Of the remaining moneys, 10% ($260,000) is used by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for public awareness and education on proper tire and solid waste disposal and recycling; 30% ($780,000) is used by DNR to support a grant program for end users of recycled waste tire products; 15% ($390,000) is used by DNR for grant programs to local governments and 28E entities for prevention, education, and enforcement programs targeting illegal dumping of waste tires, 5% ($130,000) is used to support DNR grants to local public health agencies concerning health and disease vectors posed by illegal waste tire disposal, and 40% ($1,040,000) is for waste tire abatement and illegal solid waste dump site cleanup.

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Burning Ban Moves Forward

From this week’s House Republican Newsletter:

Environmental Panel Okays City Residential Trash Burn Ban Measure

On Monday, March 2, 2009, the House Environmental Protection Committee passed House Study Bill 90 on a party-line 12-aye to 9-nay vote. HSB 90 is a complete ban of residential waste open burning in any municipality across the state. The bill directs DNR to devise and adopt administrative rules to implement a phased-in-ban of the burning of residential waste (which includes landscape materials incorporated areas of cities. The phase-in would start in 2010 (January 1) and apply to any city with a population larger than 2,500. The phase-in would ratchet down in subsequent years with the threshold dropping to city over 1,000 on January 1, 2011; 500 or more on January 1, 2012; and starting on January 1, 2013 any city in the state. The bill was amended in Committee with unanimous support to delete application of the ban to the adjoining unincorporated area within one-quarter of a mile of a city limit. The ban includes burning leaves despite the fact that cities already have the ability to ban leaf burning.

It also allows certain burning activities within cities associated with: (1) agricultural farming activities, (2) natural resources rejuvenative purposes such as proscribed prairies and woodland fires, (3) natural disaster rubbish/debris resulting from a disaster which the Governor has issued proclamation pursuant to Iowa Code section 29.C, and (4) tree and tree trimming open burning by a city at a designated and supervised site. The adopted amendment also removed language in the original bill that would have made it a criminal offense and instead allows for civil penalties.

Opponents to this legislation expressed concerns that this legislation will:

  1. impose significant new garbage collection fees on homeowners who live in some of our most income limited communities;
  2. increase hauling costs and inconvenience for homeowners who take their own residential waste to landfills that may serve their area which in many cases may be more than 20 to 30-miles one way trip because of recent closure of many landfill in the past two years;
  3. further usurp local control over local matters by the state;
  4. likely create perverse consequence of pushing some communities to considering disincorporation in order to avoid being subject to this law; and
  5. incur even more costly unintended consequence of creating more incentive for person to midnight (illegally) dump in or near small communities in order avoid solid waste pick up charges, or result in residential debris accumulations in communities with limited means of effective enforcement.
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Leaf Burning Ban Gains Traction

From this week’s House Republican Newsletter:

DNR Legislation Introduced to Sharply Increase Fees & Prohibit Residential Trash Burning

On Thursday, January 22, 2009, several controversial measures of legislation drafted at the behest of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) were published and assigned to both House and Senate committees dealing with environmental protection issues. One of the measures (House Study Bill 59 and its Senate companion Senate Study Bill 1059) lifts the cap on the amount of fees that DNR charges public water supply permit holders from $350,000 to $1 million effective the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2009. In addition, the measure at least doubles the current permit fee for a non-community public water supply system from $25 to a minimum of $50 a year with the amount being calculated on basis persons served. The measure also stipulates that the calculation of persons served will be based on the maximum monthly numbers, and explicitly expands the scope of the permit requirement to include non-community public water supply systems currently not used for human consumption (toilets or industrial use). This expansion of the scope of regulation will adversely effect the survival of small rural churches and rural businesses which not only have a difficult time in both paying for the additional fees, but even more concerning may be challenged to perform the required water testing aspect of the permit.

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