Governor issues moratorium on landfills

Published 9:56 am Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gov. Robert Bentley on Wednesday signed an executive order that sets a moratorium on new landfills in the state of Alabama.

Bentley’s executive order also directs the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and the state health department to develop new rules for the approval of landfills.

“I’m ecstatic,” said state Rep. Alan Baker, R-Brewton,

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But Baker said the moratorium does not mean the fight to stop a proposed 5,100-acre landfill in Conecuh County is over, but it will make it more difficult for developers to build it.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” he said. “This does not kill the process. But it is a huge step in the right direction.”

A spokeswoman for Conecuh Woods, the developer which has filed an application for a landfill near Repton, said the executive order will not have an effect on the project.

“We do not believe the governor’s order impacts the application process that is under way in Conecuh County in any manner,” Rachel Dickinson said Wednesday.

Area residents opposed to the landfill were pleased by news of the executive order.

“This is an answer to a prayer,” said Ruth Harrell, chairwoman of the Coalition for a Healthier Escambia County.

Brewton’s Danny Joyner praised Bentley’s action.

“This is a strike for our children and for us,” Joyner said. “He stood up for the little guy.”