House Toughens Laws on Hazardous Waste

Article excerpt

A bill to toughen Oklahoma's hazardous waste law, which is a component of the governor's environmental agenda, passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives 92-0 on Wednesday.

House Bill 2445 by Rep. M.C. Leist, D-Morris, and Sen. Ray Giles, D-Pocasset, now goes to the state Senate. The bill's title was stricken, so it probably will end up in a joint conference committee.

Many of the bill's followers are waiting to see if it will raise the tonnage fee charged for hazardous waste disposal in Oklahoma. The fee is $6.50 per ton for waste generated both inside and outside the state.

Leist said the fee provision will be filled in later. Gov. David Walters recommended $9 per ton for in-state hazardous waste, and $30 per ton for imported hazardous waste, Leist said. There's a possible problem regarding the U.S.

Constitution with having different fees for in-state and out-of-state waste disposal, because it could be judged discriminatory under the interstate commerce clause.

Leist said an Alabama lawsuit, pending in the U.S. Supreme Court, may provide some guidelines for fee setting when the high court rules. He said Wanda Jo Peltier, D-Oklahoma City, has proposed a reciprocal fee schedule with other states, and some aircraft companies have shown an interest in that approach.

Key points of House Bill 2445:

Applicants for a permit to operate a hazardous waste facility would be required to file a disclosure statement. A publicly held company could instead file the annual and quarterly report filed with the U.S.

Securities and Exchange Commission. …