US House Will Debate a Bill on Canadian Waste Imports

Date: September 5, 2006

Source: News Room

On Wednesday, September 6, 2006, the US House of Representatives is scheduled to debate a bill that would allow states to regulate waste imports originating outside of the country. The bill, entitled the "International Solid Waste Importation and Management Act of 2005," H.R. 2491, is sponsored by Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio), chairman of the Energy and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee. It seeks to address the hot button issue of ever increasing waste flows from Canada into Michigan.

At issue is a 1978 Supreme Court decision that said sole authority to regulate international waste imports rests with the federal government under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The bill sets a timeline for EPA to implement a 1986 treaty between the United States and Canada, the Agreement Concerning the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste. Until then, states would have the authority to create limits. Michigan Democrats last week announced an agreement with the Ontario government to eliminate shipments of Canadian waste by 2010.

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