The state Senate gave final passage to a controversial bill Wednesday that gives towns the ability to zone and regulate solid waste facilities, including a recycling business in Milford.
The Senate voted 22 to 12, mostly along party lines, to approve the measure which passed by a 120-8 vote in the House last week. It now goes to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for his signature. A spokesman for Malloy said the governor has been busy focusing on other issues and will review the bill when it gets to his desk.
Sen. Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford, said the bill fixes an error in state law that eliminated local control over solid waste facilities.
She said the state didn’t realized it had made the error until a November 2010 Superior Court ruling which found the state, not municipalities had the authority to regulate these facilities. The drafting error was made back in 2006, according to Slossberg.
“The language fell out without anyone recognizing it had happened and as a result it is our obligation to restore the law to fix the error that was made,” Slossberg said.
However, not all Senators agreed.
Sen. Leonard Fasano, R-North Haven, said “there’s no mistake here. There’s no error here.”
“There’s no evidence from anybody saying this was an error. That’s compelling in this building,” he said.
And even if lawmaker were convinced it was a drafting error, Fasano questioned the pace at which the bill was being pushed through the two chambers.
“What is the problem here? What is the ill that we are trying to correct that we have to do it now?” Fasano said. “This is dangerous politics, dangerous politics.”
Sen. Ed Meyer, D-Guilford, said there were at least five applications for these types or similar facilities pending with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
As it is right now, one of the facilities could put a siren on the top of their building and blow the horn every hour there’s no local authority that could regulate it, Slossberg said.
She said that’s why it’s important to do this during the first Senate session of the year.
Sen. Michael McLachlan, R-Danbury, was the lone Republican to vote for the measure. Sen. Ed Gomes, D-Bridgeport, was absent.
Click here to read our previous report on the debate