Wilmington, NC – Governor Mike Easley signed the landfill moratorium into law in a room at Cape Fear Community College overlooking Brunswick county, site of one of the state's most contentious waste disposal battles.
The proposed Hugo Neu landfill in Navassa is one of five applications statewide frozen by the law.
Easley says while some of the projects may have merit, the state needs more time to develop a coherent policy on proposed landfills.
"What we need to do is give the community some options; we need to give Navassa for instance some options, so that they can find something else that would create more jobs and create a better tax base."
Statewide, the new law freezes landfill applications in Camden, Hyde, Columbus, Scotland, and Brunswick counties. According to Easley, the five proposed projects would handle 5.4 million tons of waste a year.
The governor won't say whether he supports the Brunswick landfill in particular, but did express reservations.
"Right here in the middle of this region, this is growing by leaps and bounds and warp speed. And we're bringing in a lot of tourism, a lot of economic development that way. [It] doesn't seem as consistent with a landfill."
Supporters of the Hugo Neu landfill in Navassa say the project would bring jobs and economic growth.