HARRISBURG, (PRNewswire) – Pennsylvania is waiving state fees charged to landfill operators in order to speed cleanup efforts after recent flooding.
The waiver issued by the Department of Environmental Protection does not apply to fees owed by landfills to municipalities, a matter to be decided individually by local governments.
“Removing flood debris as quickly as possible is vital to protecting public health and the environment and also will help our communities return to normal,” Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said.
The commonwealth also is waiving Act 90 registration requirements for vehicles hauling flood debris to landfills during the emergency cleanup effort. The Waste Transportation Safety Act requires all waste transporters to obtain and display an Act 90 authorization sticker to haul trash in Pennsylvania.
DEP’s six regional offices also are authorized to approve landfills and waste facilities operating beyond their permitted hours and suspend normal volume limits for flood-related waste, where necessary. Waste operators must contact the appropriate regional office for authorization, which is being granted on a case-by-case basis depending on community needs and a facility’s compliance history.
The fee waiver, which includes fees charged for Growing Greener, will remain in effect until some of the biggest problems are cleared in communities across the commonwealth, or about two weeks. The commonwealth typically waives a variety of fees in disaster situations. In the past, DEP has waived state landfill fees.
The waiver applies to any landfill that receives flood debris, regardless of whether or not the site is located in a declared or undeclared disaster county. However, the waiver only applies to flood debris, and does not apply to other waste.
The waiver also instructs landfill operators to pass on the cost savings to municipalities and others who bring the flood-related waste to a landfill. The policy includes follow-up mechanisms through which DEP will aim to ensure compliance.
In addition, municipalities in disaster-declared counties are permitted to designate staging areas where residents can drop off flood-damaged items and household hazardous waste for disposal.
McGinty reminded residents to use caution when handling debris. People should wear gloves and sturdy shoes or boots when handling waterlogged items because of potential contamination. In addition, as water levels recede, people who find potentially hazardous debris, such as drums or other sealed containers, should contact local officials immediately. These items should not be touched.
“Waste and debris piles present a public safety hazard, obstructing roadways and clogging drains,” McGinty said. “Moreover, with the warm weather and damp conditions, these debris piles are breeding grounds for mosquitoes and dangerous diseases.”
Landfill operators seeking more information should contact DEP’s regional waste management programs at the following numbers:
– Southeast Regional Office, 484-250-5960.
– Northeast Regional Office, 570-826-2511.
– Southcentral Regional Office, 717-705-4706.
– Northcentral Regional Office, 570-327-3636.
– Southwest Regional Office, 412-442-4125.
– Northwest Regional Office, 814-332-6848.
For more information, visit DEP’s Web site at http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/, Keyword: “Flood Recovery.”