Raleigh, N.C. -- The North Carolina Senate is approving legislation scaling back restrictions on new landfills and sending it on to the House.
The Senate gave its final approval with a 29-16 vote Monday night. The Senate gave tentative approval to the bill by a similar margin late last week.
The legislation would slash protections the General Assembly approved in 2007 after environmental groups and community activists worried large landfills would be built in eastern North Carolina.
The legislature's changes would reduce buffers between proposed landfills and state parks, federal wildlife refuges and gamelands. An amendment approved Monday would delay those changes until July 2014.
Opponents argue the bill would roll out the welcome mat for mega-landfills. State regulators have said the bill wouldn't diminish its authority to regulate landfills.