HCSWA Flow Control Lobbying

By Paul Gable

The Horry County Solid Waste Authority is looking for a way to continue lobbying activities in Columbia despite last week’s vote by Horry County Council to amend the county’s flow control ordinance.

The HCSWA Finance Committee will consider a request by HCSWA executive director Danny Knight to approve approximately $30,000 initially for continued lobbying activities.

If the committee approves the request, the HCSWA board will consider giving approval at its regular meeting in February.

In the meantime, Knight has approval of the HCSWA board to negotiate a temporary, month-to-month agreement in the $5,000/mo range.

The HCSWA included approximately $130,000 in its budget for the current fiscal year for lobbying activities.

The $30,000, if approved, would provide a ‘watch dog’ presence at the SC General Assembly to act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the authority for any movement on a statewide bill to ban solid waste flow control within South Carolina.

This latest proposal comes after the HCSWA has spent over $1 million in the previous three fiscal years with a lobbying firm in North Myrtle Beach.

It comes after county council amended the county flow control ordinance to allow construction and demolition debris to be hauled to any SC DHEC approved C&D landfill.

Flow control for municipal solid waste (wet garbage) remains fully in effect within the county. Regardless of what happens in Columbia, the disposal of solid waste within the county will not change.

If the state bill banning flow control statewide passes, no county will be able to regulate where solid waste is disposed, but nothing will change in Horry County. If the bill is defeated, again, nothing will change in Horry County.

In Horry County C&D waste will go to approved landfills while all MSW will continue to go the HCSWA landfill on Hwy 90. It’s too expensive for haulers to take it anywhere else.

Why hire a lobbyist this year if nothing will change?

Those are the $30,000 or $130,000 or $1+ million (depending on how you look at it) questions, folks.

The HCSWA has a government affairs director. Why wouldn’t keeping track of legislation fall within his scope of responsibility?

The HCSWA carried the lobbying efforts for two years before it was joined by the S.C. Association of Counties last year? The SCAC is a statewide lobbying organization and should be doing all of this General Assembly lobbying even though it was late to the game.

The flow control ordinance is an Horry County ordinance and nothing now changes for the HCSWA operations whether the state bill passes or not.

What is the real motivation behind the continued desire of the HCSWA to waste public dollars on lobbying?

 

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