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Member's Press Release

Release Date: 03/03/2005
Contact: For further information, please contact Senator John Unger at (304) 389-1866.

John Unger

Senator Unger Supports Legislation to Enhance Competition for Waste Services in Eastern Panhandle

In an effort to allow competition for waste haulers and enhance the services they provide, State Senator John Unger (D-Berkeley) is the lead sponsor of two pieces of legislation, which were introduced today (March 3, 2005), designed to exempt certain waste carriers from Certificate of Convenience requirements. One of the measures (Senate Bill 439) specifically addresses carriers collecting and transporting non-residential solid waste, while the other (Senate Bill 438) focuses on the transportation of recyclable materials to recycling or composting facilities.

Both bills would provide that County or Regional Solid Waste Authorities would designate the exempt carriers and the Public Service Commission would maintain jurisdiction over safety and insurance rules for the haulers to follow. In addition, the bills target the Eastern Panhandle by providing that the new provisions would apply to counties with populations that have increased by at least 15 percent as determined by the 2000 Census and are operating under countywide comprehensive land use plans.

“Presently in our communities, waste carriers are not able to operate in a competitive environment; rather, the waste industry is being subjected to a monopoly,” stated Senator Unger, who also supports maintaining the monthly tonnage caps set on landfills. “And by taking away anti-competition restrictions, waste carriers will be better able to compete for contracts and customers should receive better service and better rates.”

By request of Senator Unger, the Governor and his Office will be meeting with representatives of the Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority to better understand solid waste issues in the Eastern Panhandle and the potential advantages of enhancing competition in waste hauling and its potential positive impact on improving waste hauling services, the development of commercial recycling and the overall development of the solid waste infrastructure in the region.

This effort includes the Governor’s, Senator Unger’s and the Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority’s desire to discuss the solid waste needs of this rapidly-growing region, while protecting its quality of life and continuing to maintain local control and decision making over the area’s solid waste facilities.

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