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Wyo. House passes wind turbine disposal ban bill

Wind Turbine Blade Dump

(Brendan LaChance, Oil City, File)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming House of Representatives passed a bill on third reading which aims to ban the disposal of wind turbine blades in Wyoming landfills.

House Bill 217 passed in the House on a vote of 38-21. The Wednesday, Feb. 26 vote record is as follows:

Ayes: BARLOW, BLAKE, BROWN, BURKHART, CLAUSEN, CLEM, CRANK, EDWARDS, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, GRAY, GREEAR, HALEY, HALLINAN, HENDERSON, HUNT, JENNINGS, HARSHMAN, KIRKBRIDE, LARSEN LLOYD, LAURSEN DAN, LINDHOLM, LOUCKS, MACGUIRE, MILLER, NICHOLAS, NORTHRUP, OBERMUELLER, OLSEN, PIIPARINEN, POWNALL, SALAZAR, STYVAR, TASS, WESTERN, WINTER, ZWONITZER
Nays: BURLINGAME, CLIFFORD, CONNOLLY, DAYTON-SELMAN, DUNCAN, FREEMAN, FURPHY, KINNER, NEWSOME, PAXTON, PELKEY, ROSCOE, SCHWARTZ, SIMPSON, SOMMERS, STITH, SWEENEY, WALTERS, WASHUT, WILSON, YIN
Excused: BLACKBURN

Wyoming Legislative Service Office

While the proposed legislation would band the disposal of blades in landfills, it would allow them to be discarded at facilities which reuse, recycle, break down or repurpose the blades.

Members of the Casper City Council have criticized the legislation, noting that the Casper Regional Landfill has been accepting blades for disposal which is generating revenue for the city.

The original version of the bill would have put the proposed rules into effect on July 1, 2020 if the legislation were to be signed into law. House District 58 Representative Pat Sweeney proposed an amendment to the bill on Tuesday, Feb. 25 that would push back the effective date of the bill to July 1, 2024. The House adopted that amendment.

“15% of the components [of wind turbines] are not recyclable,” Sweeney said. “If this went into place right now, those components would have to be shipped out of state because it is a total ban.”

The blades of wind turbines are not recyclable because they are made from fiberglass. 

The House passed another bill on third reading on Wednesday related to wind turbine disposal. House Bill 129 would allow only the base material of blades and towers to be buried in abandoned coal mine sites, requiring “the removal of all mechanical, electrical and other materials from the decommissioned wind turbine blades and towers.”

“These are not parts that can be recycled,” House District 03 Representative Eric Barlow said on Monday. “It keeps them out of the land fills. It maybe generate a little bit of a revenue for those coal mines.”

The House passed this bill on a vote of 56-3. The vote record is as follows:

Ayes: BARLOW, BLAKE, BROWN, BURKHART, BURLINGAME, CLAUSEN, CLEM, CLIFFORD, CONNOLLY, CRANK, DAYTON-SELMAN, DUNCAN, EDWARDS, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, FREEMAN, FURPHY, GREEAR, HALEY, HALLINAN, HENDERSON, HUNT, JENNINGS, KINNER, HARSHMAN, KIRKBRIDE, LARSEN LLOYD, LINDHOLM, LOUCKS, MACGUIRE, MILLER, NEWSOME, NICHOLAS, NORTHRUP, OBERMUELLER, OLSEN, PAXTON, PELKEY, PIIPARINEN, POWNALL, ROSCOE, SALAZAR, SCHWARTZ, SIMPSON, SOMMERS, STITH, STYVAR, SWEENEY, TASS, WALTERS, WESTERN, WILSON, WINTER, YIN, ZWONITZER
Nays: GRAY, LAURSEN DAN, WASHUT
Excused: BLACKBURN

Wyoming Legislative Service Office

Both bills will move to the Senate for consideration.


Concerned about this or other legislation? An online hotline system allows Wyomingites to have messages delivered to legislators on issues they are concerned with.

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