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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

From Hero to Zero on the Environment: Washington County Commissioner Karla Bigham

Update 10-2015: Bigham voted in favor of garbage burning plan supported  by forced mandates on haulers to deliver to only the now government owned facility in Newport. See approval of 9-22-15 County board minutes at the October 20th board meeting.

Update: Bigham voted yes on August 27th decision below.

Washington County Commissioner Karla Bigham, has gone from hero to zero on the environment it appears. In 2009 when she was a State legislator she co-authored HF690 a clean air bill that in part was: "requiring decreased emission of criteria air pollutants and greenhouse gas pollution from new motor vehicles; requiring adoption of low emission standards for motor vehicles" yet in the papers of late and on the May 28th vote to proceed she is seemingly doing everything she can to support buying a currently privately owned facility (RRT) that feeds hundreds of thousands of tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) to incinerators in Red Wing and Mankato. A 1980s practice of waste disposal that does not increase recycling or "zero waste." Rather, the waste RRT sends out to be burned puts tons of greenhouse gas emissions into Minnesota air. (read more at end of article links)

Other environmental legislation Bigham wrote when she served a short while as a legislator:
-A bill to end incinerating at 3M (yet now is supporting the practice through the coming vote on August 27th to purchase RRT). 
-Co-authored a bill supporting plastic bag recycling (HF576)
-Co-authored a bill putting in plans for the State to include "green" infrastructure (HF5).

Bigham used to be a champion for the environment as a legislator and now it appears is the champion of failing her former principles.

Please contact commissioner Bigham today (8-26) and tell her to vote no on tomorrow's $170,000,000 vote that includes $24.4 million for a facility to prep garbage for incineration.

Tell the following members to at least postpone the vote until a side by side recycling or zero waste plan is put next to the RRT buyout that is currently the only option on the table for the August 27th vote.  

Ramsey County District 1 <>
Ramsey County District 2 <>
Ramsey County District 3 <>
Ramsey County District 4 <>
Ramsey County District 5 <>
Ramsey County District 6 <>
Ramsey County District 7 <>
(phone for all: 651-266-8350)

Washington County District 1 <>, 651-430-6211
Washington County District 2 <>, 651-738-2425
Washington County District 3 <>, 651-430-6213
Washington County District 4 <>, 651-430-6214
Washington County District 5 <>, 651-430-6215