Environmental Bills to Watch: Ethylene Oxide Public Notification & Lining Systems for Solid Waste Facilities

Indivisible Georgia Coalition - Environmental Legislation
We thank the Georgia League of Conservation Voters for this information. You may sign up for their weekly legislative newsletter. More information will be posted in their newsletter as they research the bills and develop an opinion.

For background on this issue see the AJC, October, 2019 and an article in WedMd, also from October, 2019. Please contact your state representatives about this bill. We have concerns about the “unpermitted” amount released.

Ethylene Oxide Public Notification – House Bill 744
House Bill 744, sponsored by Rep. Erick Allen (D-40), would require any facility that has released an unpermitted amount of ethylene oxide gas to notify the public, via the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD), within 24 hours of the discovery of such release. 

Recently, ethylene oxide, commonly used to sterilize medical equipment, has been linked to an uptick in cancer reports in communities near facilities that release the gas beyond state-permitted quantities. 

There are currently eight facilities in Georgia that use ethylene oxide in some manner.

HB 744 was introduced this week and has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Environment

The Georgia Conservancy is currently evaluating and monitoring House Bill 744.

Joint Ethylene Oxide Study Committee – House Resolution 895
Sponsored by Rep. Erick Allen (D-40), HR 895 seeks to create a joint study committee to evaluate current and proposed state laws relating to the health risks associated with the release of ethylene oxide into the environment.

The study committee would be comprised of four House members, four Senate members, Georgia EPD Director (or appointee), and the Commissioner of Public Health (or appointee). 

HR 895 was introduced this week and has been referred to the Senate and House Committees on Natural Resources and the Environment.

The Georgia Conservancy supports the adoption of House Resolution 895

Lining Systems for Solid Waste Facilities – Senate Bill 297 and House Bill 756
Senate Bill 297, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Jordan (D-6), and House Bill 756, sponsored by Rep. Robert Trammel (D-132), seek to require coal combustion residuals (CCR or coal ash) to be disposed of in solid waste facilities that, at a minimum, contain liners and leachate collection systems that meet or exceed the design standards for new municipal solid waste landfills. 

SB 297 and HR 756 was introduced this week and has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Environment.

The Georgia Conservancy is currently evaluating and monitoring both bills.

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