Maryland Association of Counties Associate Director Les Knapp testified in opposition to Senate Bill 228 before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on February 9. The bill would prohibit the construction of an incinerator unless the incinerator: (1) would be located in an area zoned for heavy industrial activity; (2) would be located at least 3 miles from the property boundary of any residential dwelling, school, park, or hospital; and (3) meets the zoning requirements of the local jurisdiction in which the incinerator would be located.
The bill’s sponsor, Senator Alex Mooney, testified that he introduced the bill after the Maryland Department of the Environment approved a permit for the construction of an incinerator in Frederick County near the Monocacy Civil War Battlefield. Mr. Knapp argued that the bill imposed unreasonable restrictions on where incinerators may be located and increase local expenditures for solid waste expenditures. He also noted that the decision on where to site an incinerator is an open public process at both the State and county level.
Carroll County Commissioner Michael Zimmer also testified against the bill, noting the benefits of waste-to-energy incinerators. “Waste energy makes sense from an environmental standpoint, a scientific standpoint, and an economic standpoint,” he concluded.
UPDATE 2010-02-19: Grammatical error corrected.