The Tooele County Commission has approved an ordinance designed to prevent fly-by-night hazardous waste operators from setting up shop and leaving a big mess.

The new rule requires that potential operators pay the county $50,000 up-front. After all the permitting and site selection is finished, all but $2,500 of that would be refunded.In addition, operators of proposed hazardous waste landfills or incinerators need to obtain a Class B permit from state officials before they even begin talking with county regulators. Such permits set up strict protection requirements for clean air and water quality.

The APTUS incinerator company was charged $150,000 by state officials for its Class B permit, said Dr. Kelly Gubler, chairman of the Tooele County Commission. He has heard that state officials later "decided they ought to have charged $300,000."