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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 21, 2022 12:43 PM
From: Representative Timothy R. Bonner
To: All House members
Subject: Landfill Sites - Population Density (Prior HB 2338)
I am reintroducing legislation to place restrictions where landfills may operate in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 
Currently, there are no restrictions in state law where a waste disposal site may be located.  Under current state law, a waste disposal site may be located within or next to densely populated residential neighborhoods. 
As waste disposal sites often present issues of air, water and soil pollution, offensive odors, noise, traffic and declining property values, it is imperative that such sites not be located adjacent to densely populated neighborhoods.
I am proposing legislation, then, that a waste disposal site, which needs governmental approval, may not be located, reopened or expanded if it is within three (3) miles of the border of any municipality which has a population density of 1000 or more people per square mile.  Currently, 871 of the 2560 municipalities in Pennsylvania have such a population density comprising less than 10% of the land mass in Pennsylvania; 663 of those municipalities are located within 3 miles of an abandoned landfill comprising approximately 5% of the land mass in Pennsylvania.
There is significant land mass to locate new landfills in Pennsylvania without affecting densely populated communities. Additionally, most of the closed landfills will never seek to reopen but, if they do, this legislation will give those densely populated communities protection.  Currently operating landfills will not be affected by this legislation unless they seek to expand within 3 miles of a densely populated municipality and governmental approval is required to allow the expansion. 
The three (3) mile distance from a densely populated area is a fair and reasonable restriction on the location of waste disposal sites.  The scope of the bill will apply to any proposed new landfill site and to any proposed reopening or expansion of an existing landfill site within 3 miles of a densely populated municipality and which requires the issuance of permits from DEP or any other governmental agency having jurisdiction thereover and which final administrative approval or final court approval of such permits, if challenged in court, has not been obtained.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this much needed legislation.


Introduced as HB991