County Council delays taking vote on transfer station moratorium bill

By Alyson E. Raletz

Legislation establishing a moratorium that would temporarily stop the St. Louis County Department of Health from issuing waste-processing facility and transfer-station permits was tabled last week by the County Council.

Councilman John Campisi, R-south county, was absent from the council’s Sept. 9 meeting because of back problems. In light of the absence, Council Chairman Greg Quinn, R-west county, said the council should hold the bill and wait so Campisi could be present during the consideration of the moratorium.

Quinn submitted a substitute bill that would replace the legislation councilmen were scheduled to discuss at their Sept. 16 session — after the Call went to press.

The potential permit freeze would deny licenses to any company wishing to establish a trash-transfer station or waste processing facility for four months, according to Quinn’s substitute legislation. The original bill sought to prohibit licensing for six months.

The substitution also no longer exempts Fred Weber Inc. from the permit restrictions.

Fred Weber currently is seeking permission to construct a trash-transfer station on Baumgartner Road in Oakville.

The company has submitted applications to the Department of Health and the Mis-souri Department of Natural Resources, which are both conducting independent evaluations.

If approved, the four-month permit suspension allows the Department of Health to continue evaluating and approving modifications or renewals to existing licenses, according to the legislation.

Quinn said he hopes the Department of Health will not take any action on its review of the Fred Weber transfer-station proposal until the council reaches a decision on the moratorium.

“I would hope that they would at least be allowed to deny the permit,” Tom Diehl of Oakville said during the public comment period of the council meeting.

Diehl, leader of the opposition against Fred Weber’s proposal, also thanked the County Council for its recent approval of legislation that prohibits the construction of transfer station and waste-processing facilities within 1,000 feet of schools, residences, churches, child-care centers and nursing homes.

He also told councilmen he supported the passage of the moratorium.