By Paul Gable
Horry County Council will hold a workshop on solid waste flow control and the ordinance amendment now being considered on Monday January 6, 2014 beginning at 3 p.m. in council chambers.
The amendment passed by a 6-5 vote on first reading at council’s December meeting. The workshop is expected to bring a full bore attack by council members opposed to the amendment, which is the same as saying apologists for the Horry County Solid Waste Authority.
Final passage of the amendment would remove construction and demolition debris from flow control regulations.
Much of the talk in opposition is how much passage of the amendment would cost the HCSWA in revenue. HCSWA estimates are approximately $900k per year.
However, most of this amount would be in costs associated with burying the waste and would actually be savings because every ton diverted from the landfill does not incur these costs.
Another argument is that flow control provided the county with a potential revenue stream.
Both these arguments are invalid. The United Haulers v. Oneida-Herkimer U.S. Supreme Court decision, which allowed local governments to establish flow control, specifically says, “revenue generation is not a local interest that can justify discrimination…”
Therefore, income to the HCSWA and/or revenue stream generation for the county are unconstitutional arguments, according to the Supreme Court decision.
Another invalid argument has been that the county would open itself to lawsuits if the amendment is passed.
We’ll be watching Monday to see what other invalid arguments the HCSWA and its apologists try to bring forward.
More information on flow control arguments can be obtained in advance of Monday’s meeting by watching a “Big Talk” television special “Talking Big Trash” at 5 p.m. Sunday evening.
This discussion includes a legal opinion by an independent attorney, not one who has represented the county in the past, about the real likelihood of the county being sued, as well as a state representative who has co-sponsored a bill that would make flow control illegal throughout the state.
“Big Talk” airs on WWMB CW channel 21 which airs on HTC cable channel 15, Time Warner cable channel 8 and Direct TV satellite channel 21. Check your local guides for other cable and satellite providers.