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COLUMBIA -- H. 4644, which establishes the Solid Waste Emergency Fund, was signed into law Tuesday.

Rep. Chandra Dillard, D-Greenville, the bill’s lead sponsor, said the legislation allows the Department of Health and Environmental Control to address environmental problems caused by the mismanagement of solid waste.

“We created the Solid Waste Emergency Fund and we did so without raising any taxes,” Dillard said. “This will close the loophole that allows sham recyclers of construction and demolition debris to let solid waste to pile up, which is a threat to the environment and the health of those living nearby. And this will empower local governments in matters of zoning in their communities.”

This law provides a funding mechanism for DHEC to use for emergency actions in addressing environmental problems caused by solid waste.

Currently, certain collectors of construction and demolition debris are able to circumvent the requirement to recycle 75 percent by weight of recovered materials by processing mostly concrete and other heavy debris – leaving solid waste to accumulate on site.

The new law requires these facilities to recycle at least 75 percent of each separated material type, closing the loophole and cutting down on waste, or register with DHEC and obtain a solid waste processing permit.

Additionally, the law removes a previous requirement that DHEC perform a review of local zoning and land-use ordinances prior to issuing a solid waste management facility permit. Instead, a facility will provide DHEC proof of compliance with local ordinances when applying for a permit.

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