Officials: Permit process needs change

Published 9:06 pm Tuesday, August 6, 2013

As one phase of the legal battle over a proposed landfill comes to a close, efforts continue to revise the state approval process for large landfills.

State Rep. Alan Baker, R-Brewton, who was successful in passing a now three-year moratorium on large landfills, said the state is still studying possible changes.

The moratorium will end in June 2014.

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“Included in that statewide moratorium was a mandated solid waste study conducted by Auburn University, of which phase one was completed this summer,” Baker said. “I’m pleased to say we feel like there will be some permitting changes going forward.”

In the meantime, Conecuh County commissioners are working toward revising the county’s own solid waste plan, and municipalities have begun passing the new rules as well. Repton passed the new plan last month.

Baker said he believes that the permitting process needs more public input.

“We feel like there needs to be input by the citizens and the process needs to be very open, and we felt there were some parts of the permitting process that needed some remedies to be put into place,” Baker said.

It is unclear whether defendants in the landfill lawsuit will appeal. An attorney for defendant Conecuh Woods LLC had no comment Tuesday.