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N.C. Opinions: Greensboro

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Stopping a leaky bill

From an editorial Thursday in the (Greensboro) News & Record:

Tracing the trail of a truck hauling trash isn’t so hard if it leaks. Although it could turn one’s stomach.

The Solid Waste Management Reform Act of 2013, whose primary sponsor was Republican Trudy Wade of Greensboro, passed the Senate by a 29-16 vote June 24. Three Republicans voted against it; no Democrats supported it.

It included provisions making it easier to build new landfills and loosening regulations requiring that trucks transport solid waste in “leak-proof” containers. Under the new standard, they would only have to be “leak-resistant.”

The House refused to vote on Wade’s bill. Yet, in the final days of the legislative session a month later, representatives found some of its controversial proposals tucked into a House bill containing sweeping regulatory reforms. It passed 63-34.

Another month passed before Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill. But he added two executive orders that amounted to declarations that he would not enforce two parts of it: one was easing the leak-proof standard for garbage trucks.

Now, a few weeks before the legislature returns to session, lawmakers are fanning a simmering resentment. The governor in effect exercised a line-item veto to overturn the garbage truck provision, members of an environmental review committee said recently.

For his part, the governor should stand firm. If he does, he’ll come out smelling like roses. Legislators, on the other hand …

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