FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 06/19/2015
REP. SIMMONS' BILL AIMED TO HALT EXPANSION OF CAMELOT LANDFILL BECOMES LAW
AUSTIN – House Bill 281, a bill introduced by State Representative Ron Simmons, became law on June 18, 2015. HB 281 allows the City of Lewisville to have a say before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) can approve the permit to expand the Camelot Landfill. Representative Tan Parker joint authored HB 281 in the House, and Senator Jane Nelson sponsored the bill in the Senate.
"HB 281 addresses a serious concern for many of my constituents,” said Simmons. "The Camelot landfill is wholly located within the city limits of Lewisville, but owned by the City of Farmers Branch. If the permit submitted by Farmers Branch is approved, this landfill will eventually reach a height of 725 feet—the highest point in Denton County."
The permit for the Camelot landfill was originally issued to the City of Highland Park in 1979, when the location of the landfill was in an unincorporated area of Denton County. Since then, Lewisville and Carrollton have expanded and annexed land around the landfill. The permit for the landfill was transferred to Farmers Branch in 2000. Farmers Branch filed an application to effectively double the size of the Camelot Landfill in 2012.
"My constituents believe – and I agree wholeheartedly – that it is profoundly unfair to have one city's will imposed upon another concerning a landfill within its own jurisdiction," said Senator Jane Nelson, the Senate Sponsor of HB 281.
HB 281, which received broad support in both the House and Senate, requires TCEQ, before approving an application to expand the capacity of such a landfill, to receive approval from the governing body of the municipality in which the landfill is located. Additionally, members of the legislature who represent the district in which the landfill resides must be given an opportunity to comment on the application received by the landfill’s operator. HB 281 applies only to a municipally owned Type 1 solid waste landfill that is located within one municipality, but owned by a different municipality.
"Area legislators and Lewisville and Carrollton city officials have worked together to address this issue for several years," Simmons said. "The battle was long and hard, and I appreciate the efforts of all those involved. HB 281 gives the people of Lewisville a voice when it comes to what happens in their city."
HB 281 passed the House on May 11, 2015 and passed the Senate on May 26, 2015. The bill was signed in both the House and Senate on May 30, 2015 and went into effect on June 18, 2015 after being filed without the Governor's signature.