Arp thwarts Hartsell's Griffin landfill bill

Aug. 06, 2013 @ 03:27 PM

An amendment allowing a landfill to reopen in Unionville was dropped from the bill before passing the General Assembly.

Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, who represents Carbarrus and parts of Union counties, added language exempting some landfills from municipal franchises to House Bill 321. The amendment would have allowed a landfill owned by Griffin Farms in Unionville to reopen, despite court rulings in the town's favor.

Hartsell said he added the amendment specifically to allow the Griffin Farms landfill to reopen.

Rep. Dean Arp R-55 said he met with bill sponsors once Sen. Tommy Tucker told him about the amendment.

"Basically, what we did was to talk to the bill sponsors to have them remove the amendments and pass the main bill," Arp said. "They agreed when they learned the whole history of the landfill issue."

Tucker added his support in the senate.

"I just didn't like the process of an amendment tagged onto a bill like that," he said. "And this issue os a landfill has been litigated more than once in court. It just wasn't right to add legislation that would mess with that."

As it was written, a municipality would no longer have a say about new or existing landfills in their town limits.

"The bill would have meant that the landfill could have bypassed the town," Arp said.

At that point, Unionville's only method of protest would be an appeal to the state.

The landfill's owner said the move will further hurt the economy.

"I think it's unfortunate that at a time when local builders and businesses are struggling to recover in a bad economy, some state leaders choose to tie the hands of business instead of helping build to new jobs for our citizens," Griffin Farms owner Richard Griffin stated in a July 30 email.