The General Assembly has just given its final approval to a bill that would set new, tougher regulations for landfills in North Carolina.
The House voted 65-46 to approve the long-negotiated measure and send it to Governor Mike Easley's desk.
Pryor Gibson, a Democrat from Anson County, told fellow House members that he still has some reservations about the new standards. But, he told them, "We can't afford to not do something."
Proposals for new mega-dumps in eastern North Carolina led lawmakers to set a one-year moratorium on landfill permits last year. It expired at midnight last night.
The new bill includes a $2-per-ton surcharge on trash sent to landfills, with the proceeds going to fund cleanup of abandoned waste sites and to help local governments that manage their own trash.