Bills dealing with yard waste and petroleum contamination sites vetoed

Gov. Charlie Crist on Tuesday vetoed bills related to yard waste in landfills and petroleum contamination sites.

Both HB 569 and HB 1385 were introduced by Rep. Ralph Poppell, R-Vero Beach and chairman of the House Natural Resources Appropriations Committee.

HB 569 would have lifted the state ban on yard waste in landfills where methane gas was captured and burned to produce electricity. Waste Management Inc. and the North American Solid Wastes Association supported the bill, with Waste Management saying it would allow trash haulers to use a single truck to pick up both yard waste and household garbage.

But it faced opposition from Sierra Club Florida, the U. S. Composting Council, Hillsborough County and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. In response to a similar bill proposed in Georgia, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency said compositing is a beneficial use of yard waste compared to dumping it in landfills.

In his veto letter, Crist said the bill represents a step backwards in Florida’s recycling efforts and it could cause landfills to fill up quicker.

HB 1385 would have extended the deadline for the cleanup of petroleum contamination sites and allowed the owners of 4,985 contamination sites to ask the state to remove them from the list if they do not pose a threat to drinking water supplies.

The bills supporters included the Florida Ground Water Association and the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association. Representatives of the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Association of Counties raised concerns during the session that the bill may deny local governments control over the use of lands with contamination.

Crist echoed the concerns of cities and counties in his veto letter and said the bill directs the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to set less protective standards for site cleanups. He also raised concerns that the bill would redirect $10 million from cleaning up more dangerous sites and would divert the money to the least dangerous sites.

(Story provided by The Florida Tribune. Story copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and Do not copy or redistribute without permission, which can be obtained by contacting

1 thought on “Bills dealing with yard waste and petroleum contamination sites vetoed”

  1. The yard waste bill was also opposed by Green Florida, a community gardening organization whose supporters sent more than 400 letters to the Governor telling him the mulch sites were counted on by thousands of gardeners and community gardeners throughout the state.

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