Missouri legislators weaken regulations for hazardous waste, ‘advanced recycling’

2022-05-13

Legislation weakening Missouri’s hazardous waste regulations and opening the door for “advanced recycling” will soon be on Gov. Mike Parson’s desk.

With just hours left before Friday’s mandated end to the Missouri legislative session, the House took up and passed a bill stuck in conference committee negotiations that was vehemently opposed by environmentalists and pushed by business groups and the plastics industry.

The legislation would bar Missouri from enacting hazardous waste rules that are any stricter than federal regulation, a provision that Senate Democrats filibustered for hours earlier in the session.

It would also allow advanced — or chemical — recycling facilities to operate without a solid waste permit. Critics worry the two policies will leave Missourians more vulnerable to being exposed to dangerous chemicals.

“I’m very very disappointed to see this dangerous bill pass at the 11th hour,” said Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur.

Rep. Jeff Knight, R-Lebanon sponsored the legislation in the House and lauded passage of the advanced recycling bill.

“Anytime you can reduce regulations to invite some new industries into your state, I think you’re heading in the right direction,” he said.

The bill began in the House with only the advanced recycling language. Advanced recycling breaks down hard-to-recycle plastics, like films and wrappers that can’t be processed mechanically. The hope is to increase the dismal rate of plastic recycling — less than 10% — and ease the burden on landfills.

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Missouri Independent, 13-05-22
; https://missouriindependent.com/2022/05/13/missouri-legislators-weaken-regulations-for-hazardous-waste-advanced-recycling/