Industry Supports STB Rules for Rail Waste Transfer Facilities

Date: June 7, 2011

Source: National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA)

A group of industry trade associations, various state agencies and others recently submitted comments to the US Surface Transportation Board (STB) in support of rules that would require anyone building a transfer station on railroad property to first prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to be shared with relevant local municipal and state regulatory authorities. The rules, intended to implement the provisions of the Clean Railroads Act of 2008 (Pub. L. No. 110-432, 122 State. 4848 ["CRA"]), are meant to involve local entities earlier in the permitting process and to discourage would be "sham operators" whose sole purpose in locating on rail property is to circumvent state and local waste regulations. Shannon Crawford, the Manager of Government Affairs for the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) said, "It's important that the solid waste industry remains involved in the implementation of the CRA to ensure rail based facilities are properly regulated."


PRESS RELEASE
June 7, 2011

NSWMA Joins Coalition of Groups in Commenting on STB Rules

WASHINGTON, D.C. The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) joined a number of other parties in recently submitting comments to the United States Surface Transportation Board (STB) expressing support for proposed rules, intended to implement the provisions of the Clean Railroads Act of 2008 (Pub. L. No. 110-432, 122 State. 4848 ["CRA"]). The proposed rule requires STB to adopt procedures that anyone building a solid waste transfer facility generally would need to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) and share it with the relevant municipality, state and federal regional planning entity in order to provide the opportunity for public notice and comment.

If the proposed rule were to go into effect, the likely result will be earlier and better involvement opportunities for all concerned in the scoping process of the initial environmental review conducted by the railroad proponent and the STB. It is thought that by doing so those involved in such reviews would identify a more limited and workable set of siting issues and concerns that may prove to be more manageable for developers.

In addition to NSWMA, comments supporting this proposed rule were submitted to the STB from the Connecticut state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the New Jersey state Department of Environmental Protection, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, the Atlantic County Utility Authority, Bensalem Township (in Bucks Country, Penn.), the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Association of American Railroads, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), the Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA), and the Energy Recovery Council.

Regarding these comments, NSWMA's Northeast Regional Manager for Advocacy Steve Changaris said, "It was great to work again with the US Conference of Mayors, SWANA and other groups in our coalition of filers for this STB rulemaking. Even though a lot of time passed since the original STB rulemaking on the CRA, we stayed together and spoke with a unified voice once again on key issues concerning the regulation of railroad waste transfer stations."

Shannon Crawford, the Manager of Government Affairs for the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) added, "It's important that the solid waste industry remains involved in the implementation of the CRA to ensure rail based facilities are properly regulated."

About NSWMA

NSWMA a sub-association of the Environmental Industry Associations represents for-profit companies in North America that provide solid, hazardous and medical waste collection, recycling and disposal services, and companies that provide professional and consulting services to the waste services industry. NSWMA members conduct business in all 50 states.

For more information, contact:
Thomas Metzger, 202-364-3751

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