Florida Water Coalition Award
Several members of the Florida Water Quality Coalition presented Keyna Cory with a plaque for her efforts in leading the numeric nutrient criteria task force for the business and regulated community. Since 2009 Keyna has been coordinating the efforts of the task force to stop the US Environmental Protection Agency from implementing unreasonable and unscientific water quality standards in Florida.
(Pictured with Jim Spratt, Chair of the Florida Water Quality Coalition)
Florida Governor Signs into Law Key
Solid Waste Permit Bill
Mon, 2012-05-07 10:00
Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a key industry bill doubling the permit terms for solid waste facilities.
House Bill 503 extends the permit term for a solid waste management facility with a leachate collection system to 20 years from 10. Facilities without leachate collection systems can extend the term to 10 years from 5, said Keyna Cory, longtime Florida Chapter lobbyist for the Washington-based National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), in an e-mail.
The law will take effect July 1. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Patronis (R-Panama City).
The NSWMA called the bill a top priority for the region and the industry when it passed the state legislature in March, and applauded the bill being passed into law.
"The new law will save the industry millions of dollars," said John Clifford, NSWMA Florida Chapter chairman in a news release. "The language in this bill will help companies of all sizes in Florida, from the small business to the large international companies. The money saved with the extension of the permit renewal can be used by NSWMA members to invest in equipment; upgrade facilities and increase workforce. This legislation maintains environmental protection, but does so without needless burdensome regulation. It is really a win-win for all involved."
The cost for landfill permit renewals vary depending on the type of facility, Cory said. It currently takes about six to eight months to renew a permit if there are no issues.
Legislation looks to curb stolen metal trade
By Danny Valentine, Times Staff Writer
Published Sunday, March 25, 2012
TAMPA - For metal thieves in Florida, targets are everywhere.
They've hit homes, businesses, churches, construction sites, utilities, telephone companies and storage lots. They've ripped out copper wiring, dismantled air conditioning units and illegally scrapped manhole covers, stop signs, interstate guardrails, park benches, railroad ties and chain-link fences.
Now authorities hope they will get a new weapon in the battle against the surging thefts.
Two bills awaiting Gov. Rick Scott's signature would make it harder for people to sell stolen metals to recyclers, stopping a crime that can mean huge losses for property owners, advocates say.
"It's just hurt too many people - both in the pocketbook and with their loved ones," said Keyna Cory, a coordinator for Floridians for Copper and Metal Crime Prevention, which supported the legislation. "We think this is what we need to stop this crime."
The primary bill (HB 885/SB 540) creates statewide standards and a database for recording information about metal sales. It also increases penalties for metal theft and establishes a list of metals that can't be resold without proof of ownership.
"Why steal it if I can't sell it someplace?" asked Cory.
The legislation would require that metal recyclers take down sellers' information as well as information about the metal, such as a serial number. That information would be entered into databases shared by law enforcement.
It would create a list of 20 items, including manhole covers, funeral markers, storm grates and beer kegs, that can't be scrapped unless the seller can prove ownership or authority to sell the property. Payment for those items must come in check form - no cash.
The law also would make these requirements uniform across the state, instead of the existing patchwork of regulation at the county level, Cory said.
The penalty for metal recyclers who fail to keep proper paperwork would increase to a third-degree felony from a misdemeanor. That would be upped to a second-degree felony for third or subsequent violations.
People who steal metal from electrical substations would face a first-degree felony.
"We came together collectively to work on something to help solve the problem," said Rose Mock, president of Allied Scrap Processors in Lakeland and President of the Florida Recyclers Association.
Though not a perfect solution, she said, it's a step in the right direction. She also said that Florida recyclers took a proactive step to combating metal theft.
"People think that nobody's doing anything, but we are," she said. "We all are."
The changes would help local authorities regulate the industry better, said Hillsborough County Sheriff's Detective Dillon Corr, who investigates scrap metal cases.
"We're going to take away the outlet and, hopefully, that's going to reduce the metal theft," he said.
Metal theft has grown steadily in the past 10 years, spurred by rising prices and increasing demand from China and India, experts say. But the crime has increased dramatically with the economic downturn.
"It's basically a crime of last resort," Corr said.
He said scrapping offers a huge reward for little risk, attracting everyone from drug addicts to out-of-work electricians.
Metal thieves can cause far more damage getting the metal than it is worth at the scrap yard. The thefts can also have serious unintended consequences.
In September, a Miami pedestrian was struck and killed on a stretch of road left dark after metal thieves stripped copper from the streetlights, according to Floridians for Copper and Metal Crime Prevention Coalition.
The Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, serving west-central Florida, suffered more than $300,000 in metal theft-related damage in 2011, the coalition reported.
Although not all law enforcement agencies track metal-related thefts, some have reported large jumps. Clearwater, for example, saw metal thefts jump from 59 in 2010 to 169 in 2011.
It's hard to know exactly how big of a problem metal thefts are across the state. Or how much they do in damage.
"I think that we would be closer to billions," said Cory.
Fla. lawmakers pass solid waste permit changes
March 14, 2012
A trade group representing private solid waste management companies is lauding what it calls two key pieces of solid waste legislation passed in Florida.
"Our chapter's two top priorities were passed this session, and both of them were unanimously approved," said NSWMA Florida Chapter Chair John Clifford in a statement.
House Bill 503 is what the chapter calls a "major rewrite of environmental permitting lawsö that doubles permit extensions for solid waste management sites with leachate collection systems from 10 to 20 years, NSWMA said.
Locations without leachate collection systems would see their permits also double from five to 10 years.
House Bill 7003 creates a statewide environmental resource permitting system that the trade group said "will give consistency to the five DEP districts when it comes to the permitting process."
Both bills passed unanimously and are awaiting Gov. Rick Scott's signature to become law.
Keyna Cory, government relations specialist for the Florida Chapter, said grassroots efforts by members paid off.
"Florida Chapter members really stepped up to the plate and contacted their legislators before key committee votes letting them know how important this issue was to their company," she said in a statement.
Contact Waste & Recycling News senior reporter Jim Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-964-1289.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2012
Contacts: Thom Metzger, 202-364-3751
NSWMA: Florida Legislature Passes Key Solid Waste Legislation
Industry Priorities Were Passed and Should Become Law
Tallahassee, Fla. - The Florida Chapter of the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) today applauded the passage of two pieces of key solid waste legislation by the Florida Senate and House of Representatives during the 2012 legislative session. NSWMA is very hopeful that the bills will be signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott.
NSWMA Florida Chapter Chair John Clifford stated that the Chapter was very pleased with the legislation that was passed. According to Clifford, "Our Chapter's two top priorities were passed this session and both of them were unanimously approved."
The first bill supported by the NSWMA was HB 503 by Rep. Jimmy Patronis (R-Panama City). This bill is a major rewrite of the environmental permitting laws that includes language that will double the term of permit extensions for solid waste management facilities with leachate collection systems from 10 to 20 years. Those facilities without leachate collection systems would be able to extend their permit terms from 5 to 10 years.
Lobbyist for the Florida Chapter Keyna Cory said the success of passing this important legislation was due to the grassroots effort. "Florida Chapter members really stepped up to the plate and contacted their legislators before key committee votes letting them know how important this issue was to their company," said Cory.
NSWMA Florida Chapter Vice Chair Chuck Dees stated that working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection was another key factor for a successful session. "We began working with DEP early in the process so that we could agree to compromise language that is beneficial to the industry without harming the environment," stated Mr. Dees.
The other passed legislation on the Chapter's Session Priority list was HB 7003 by Rep. Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island). This bill creates a statewide Environmental Resource Permitting system. This legislation will give consistency to the five DEP districts when it comes to the permitting process.
Each bill is consistent with legislative intent to require regulations to be effective in protecting the environment, not just burdensome to industry.
NSWMA - a sub-association of the Environmental Industry Associations - represents for-profit companies in North America that provide solid, hazardous and medical waste collection, recycling and disposal services, and companies that provide professional and consulting services to the waste services industry. NSWMA members conduct business in all 50 states.
Florida lawmakers pass metal-theft bill amid public safety concerns
3:31 a.m. EDT, March 13, 2012
The death of a South Florida woman served as a catalyst to bolster the state's metal-theft laws.
In September, Thelma Morrow was killed in a crash along a darkened street, left that way by thieves who stripped copper from Miami streetlights. The driver who hit her told police the light outages helped make the crash difficult to avoid.
State legislators, citing her death, now have approved a bill that enhances criminal penalties against thieves and corrupt recyclers.
Morrow's death "spawned us into action, because her life was so tragically taken," said Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, who co-sponsored the bill. "It lit the fire under us to make sure that this doesn't happen again."
Legislators are sending the bill to Gov. Rick Scott, who is expected to sign it. The law would take effect July 1.
Morrow's sister, Ethel Morrow Dandy, 62, said she was grateful the measure was approved.
"She had to die an untimely death because of those copper-wire thieves," Dandy said. "This law will make a difference."
The theft of utility wires already was a misdemeanor, but now such metal thievery would be a first-degree felony. "You're going to spend some time behind bars for doing this," Smith said.
The bill also would tighten restrictions on scrap-metal yards statewide. If buying stolen property is made riskier for scrap-yard dealers, the reasoning goes, it will cut off the demand side of the illicit business.
The bill prohibits buying 17 metal items often targeted for theft, things like manhole covers, backflow valves, coils from air conditioners and utility light poles, wires and fixtures. People selling to dealers must prove ownership or show they are authorized to sell the metals.
And dealers must pay by check for the items, an extra hurdle if you're seeking quick money.
Dealers intentionally ignoring inspection requirements would face a third-degree felony. Recyclers with three or more offenses would be charged with a first-degree felony.
Backers of the measure said it only should affect dealers who who turn a blind eye to the illegal source of items offered for sale.
"It's the ones that aren't legit who are going to have serious problems trying to comply," said Keyna Cory, coordinator of Floridians for Copper and Metal Theft Crime Prevention, a coalition of industry organizations.
Smith said the metal-theft bill is the first one increasing criminal penalties co-sponsored by him.
But it "was worth it in this case," he said after he heard from countless metal-theft victims in South Florida and learned of Morrow's death.
Morrow's sister said she wished the bill would have been approved "a long time ago, before it cost someone's life."
Dandy said she and her family plan to visit Morrow's gravesite in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday, her sister's birthday. Morrow would have turned 53.
"We truly miss her," Dandy said.
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Jack Cory Testifies Before the House Civil Justice Subcommittee