Date: October 11, 2006
Source: News Room
The Michigan waste issue continues to resonate politically despite a deal to stem Canadian waste imports. That deal was struck by Michigan senators (both democrats) Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin whereby Toronto officials agreed to phase out waste exports by 2010 in exchange for the Senators' agreement not to pursue legislation in Washington that would have added a $420 Homeland inspection fee to every waste truck entering the US. Stabenow's republican challenger to Mike Bouchard charges that the deal is evidence of Stabenow's "do-nothing" status in Washington and will do little to stem the flow of imported commercial and industrial wastes which go unaddressed. He further charges that the deal undermines Senate consideration of a House bill that would have given states the authority to regulate trash imports. Stabenow has retorted that Senate leaders have already established that they will not take up the issue this year and that the Bush Administration already has the power to stop the imports by enforcing an existing treaty with Canada. Roughly four million tons of waste per year representing 20 percent of all waste disposed in Michigan comes from Canada.