Lawmakers approved two bills during the special session, voting to place a moratorium on new hazardous-waste incinerators and to give municipalities the authority to pay for parking garages with parking fees.
The hazardous-waste facility moratorium bill was passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate. It will prevent consideration of a construction permit for a burn plant in Millard County until state regulations are adopted.The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joseph M. Moody, R-Delta, was proposed in response to a request by a Delaware-based company to build a hazardous-waste incinerator in Lynndyl, Millard County.
Hundreds of residents attended a public meeting held last month in Delta on the incinerator, many expressing concern that Rollins Environmental Services would be allowed to build the plant before new state regulations are adopted.
The regulations being drafted by a state committee will detail where commercial hazardous waste-treatment, storage and disposal, including incinerators, can be located.
The Legislature amended the law establishing the committee to stop the Utah Division of Environmental Health from approving plans for dealing with hazardous waste until the siting criteria is approved.
The bill also set a May 1, 1989 deadline for the siting criteria to be in place, and stated that local governments can establish more stringent regulations if they so choose.
That last provision caused Rep. Ervin M. Skousen, R-Salt Lake, to suggest that local officials would use the ability to write tougher regulations to "protect their turf" by making it impossible for burn plants to locate in their communities.
But Rep. Beverly J. White, D-Tooele, said there are areas in the state that would welcome the economic boost a hazardous waste incinerator would bring.
White said the provision in the law gives those communities some bargaining room with companies looking for a place to locate their incinerators. "You're giving control back to the people who have to live with this everyday," she said.
The other bill approved by legislators was sought by Salt Lake officials and sponsored by Rep. Olene S. Walker, R-Salt Lake. It will let local governments use the money made from parking structures to pay off construction bonds.
The law had required that those bonds be paid for only from taxes levied against businesses and other entities benefiting from the projects. The change in the law relieves some of that burden.
Walker told House members that one of the biggest concerns facing developers in the downtown area is securing adequate parking. She cited three projects that will be helped along by the change in the law.
The amendments to the Municipal Improvement District Act were approved 52-20 in the House and 21-4-4 in the Senate.