On April 27, 2016, a Tennessee bill, SB 2228, was signed into law exempting any person who would be excluded from liability under the federal Superfund Recycling Equity Act from state Superfund-type liability under the Tennessee’s Hazardous Waste Management Act of 1983.
This is a tremendous victory, following on the heels of a similar victory last year in Florida.
Tennessee recyclers built a coalition of stakeholders who supported the language. The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry championed the issue since 2003 when the concept was first addressed.
Southeast Chapter President Tom Rice is to be congratulated for setting the stage by pushing for another Florida-like approach. Steve Levetan of Pull-A-Part, an ISRI member in Georgia, himself a former lobbyist, was instrumental in helping Tennessee’s lobbyists wend their way through the state’s legislative process and helping them get the SB 2228 across the proverbial goal line.
The lesson to be learned from the Florida and Tennessee victories is that other states are likely to come around to relieving – in most cases - recyclers of state superfund liability who, in most instances, should never have been brought into the state or federal superfund morass in the first place. The language of SB2228 was elegantly simple and tracked the federal language perfectly.
Working together, ISRI members, chapters and staff can help make state superfund relief for recyclers a reality in many other states. We can do this!