A yearlong moratorium on land transfers from the federal government to local communities for garbage landfills would be lifted if a House bill is passed.
The Public Lands Subcommittee sent the measure to the full House Interior Committee after a brief hearing Thursday.Bipartisan legislation backed by Rep. Morris K. Udall, D-Ariz., and all three Utah members of the House would remove "reversion" clauses in transfers by the Bureau of Land Management for landfills.
The moratorium has been in effect since 1987. The BLM quit providing waste disposal sites because were the land to revert back to the government, the BLM might have become responsible for waste dump cleanups. Reversion clauses provide that when the government offers a site for a public purpose at below-market value, the site reverts to the federal government if used for other purposes.
BLM Director Robert Burford testified Thursday at a hearing of the House Public Lands Subcommittee that his agency supports the legislation. In Utah, more than 30 sites in 15 counties are leased to public agencies. Burford said that about 10 new applications for sites are received in an average year.