HB 226 Passes General Assembly; Composting Language Removed

A State House bill that drew the attention of some Stephens County citizens over its reference to composting is headed to the Governor’s desk after it passed the General Assembly.

House Bill 226, which deals with used tires, passed the State House and Senate last week at the end of the legislative session.

The Concerned Citizens of Toccoa-Stephens County group involved in the Wilbros debate expressed concern about the bill because language in the original version would have changed the definition of composting to say that it did not have to be odor-free, controlled, and stable.

Members of the group say that change concerned them because of what it might mean in reference to odors coming from Wilbros, which has a composting facility.

Once the group expressed its concerns, the State Senate added the words “odor-free, controlled, and stable” back in to the definition of composting.

Furthermore, the version of the bill that eventually passed the House and Senate last week had any and all language referencing composting completely removed from the bill.

State Representative Randy Nix of LaGrange sponsored House Bill 226.

In an e-mail, Nix said that the composting language was originally added at the request of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

Local State Representative Dan Gasaway voted against the original version of House Bill 226. He did vote in favor of the amended version that removed all references to composting. State Senator John Wilkinson also voted for the amended version in the state Senate.

The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk to await his signature.