Hawley Sponsors Bill to Fight Mandates, Restrictions on Rural Communities

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) recently announced that he will become the prime sponsor of pending legislation preventing the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) from increasing restrictions on landowners that burn refuse on their property. The DEC began their efforts to eliminate such practices with a ruling in October of 2009 that irrationally tightened guidelines on who is allowed to burn refuse and what sort of materials are allowed to be burned. The bill focuses on landowners in small, rural communities that rely on this safe and time-trusted method of disposal.

“In Western New York, there are a number of small, rural communities that don’t have the waste management structures in place to dispose of certain waste materials,” said Hawley. “That is why members of my district have burned refuse on their open land for generations and why this legislation is so vital. The DEC has continually displayed a lack of understanding when it comes to our rural way of life, and they cannot be allowed to overstep their bounds by banning this widely accepted practice.”

The legislation was originally introduced in January of 2010. At the end of last year’s legislative session, the bill was being held in the Committee on Environmental Conservation for further consideration.