The Legislature has passed and sent to Gov. George Deukmejian a bill designed to ensure that the environmental effects of proposed waste-to-energy plants are thoroughly reviewed. Deukmejian has not indicated whether he plans to sign the measure.
The measure, by Assemblyman Byron D. Sher (D-Palo Alto), requires air pollution districts to assess the health risk from the plants and determine that the projects would not cause a significant increase in illness and death.
Also, as new emission standards are developed by local agencies, the plants, such as Pacific Waste Management Corp.'s proposed Irwindale facility, would be required to add new pollution control equipment.
The Senate passed Sher’s bill on a 34-0 vote and the Assembly passed it 77-0. It was the only major bill on waste-to-energy issues to win passage in both houses.
More than a dozen bills affecting construction of the incinerators were introduced in the Legislature this year, most of them aimed at curbing construction. Thirty-four plants are being built or are on the drawing boards in the state. Incinerators being developed in Commerce and on Terminal Island for the City of Long Beach are already using the Sher bill’s guidelines, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts.