By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – A Senate subcommittee on Wednesday stopped legislation to block Alcorn County from locating a landfill in the Wenasoga community near the Tennessee state line, but similar legislation is alive in the House.
Both Sen. Eric Powell, D-Corinth, and Rep. Harvey Moss, D-Corinth, have filed bills to block the location of a rubbish landfill within 2,500 feet of a home, school or church. Generally speaking, a rubbish landfill handles waste from construction projects, such as concrete, waste lumber, furniture and limbs.
The legislation is being filed because Wenasoga residents oppose a decision of the Alcorn County Board of Supervisors on a 3-2 vote to locate a landfill in the area in the western part of the county.
In a subcommittee of the Senate Environmental Protection, Conservation and Water Resources Committee, members heard testimony Wednesday from Greg Hinton about his son, Graham, who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 3.
Hinton said doctors told him his son would be in danger of “secondary infections” from the proposed landfill that would be located near his home.
Sen. Giles Ward, R-Louisville, was among those voting against the bill in subcommittee. He said he had sympathy for the residents, but that local governments have a responsibility to provide for waste disposal.
“I feel it would be better dealt with on the local level, and I see no need for the Legislature to be involved in it,” Ward said.
On the House side, Rep. Bobby Howell, R-Kilmichael, who is handling the legislation in the Conservation and Water Resources Committee, said he has many of the same concerns expressed by Ward.
He said he is looking at making the bill restrictive to Alcorn County so that it does not have statewide impact.
“It appears to be a unique situation between some of the citizens there and the Board,” Howell said.
The House could vote on the bill today.
Contact Bobby Harrison at (601) 353-3119 or firstname.lastname@example.org.