[GRRN] Fw: Interstate Waste Update

Bill Sheehan (zerowaste@grrn.org)
Wed, 30 Jun 1999 13:50:48 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: Sara Kendall <dc@worc.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 1999 12:44 PM
Subject: Interstate Waste Update

Interstate Waste -- June 30, 1999

First off, due to requests from several of you, WORC will begin posting
these emails to the GreenYes email listserv. If you're on the listserv and
would like to be deleted from our list to avoid getting these emails twice,
let me know.

Yesterday, a federal judge blocked implementation of a series of
waste-related laws passed by Virginia's General Assembly this year, saying
that the laws are "crystal clear" violations of the Commerce Clause of the
U.S. Constitution. The laws: 1) banned garbage barges on three Virginia
rivers; 2) capped landfill capacity at 2,000 tons per day or 1998 levels,
whichever is greater; and 3) placed standards on barges and tractor
trailors carrying waste. Although all of the bills applied to in-state
waste as well as out-of-state waste, they were clearly an effort by the
state to control the rising interstate waste shipments that have made
Virginia the second largest waste importer in the U.S.

Tuesday's ruling was a preliminary injunction, and the judge still has to
rule on the constitutionality of the measures, but his comments suggest
that Waste Management and the other parties that brought the suit are
likely to prevail and the laws will be permanently enjoined.

The ruling is expected to put more pressure on Virginia Governor Jim
Gilmore (R) and the state's Congressional delegation to support passage of
federal legislation granting states and communities new authorities over
interstate waste shipments. Gilmore was one of the Virginia bills' chief
proponents but has yet to take a position on federal interstate waste
legislation. Virginia Representative Tom Bliley (R) is one of the federal
bill's chief opponents, and has repeatedly refused to schedule a vote on
the bill in the House Commerce Committee, which he chairs.

For more information:

1. Richmond Times Dispatch (This article may be availble on 6/30 only.)
Judge blocks state curbs on waste / Spencer hints laws are unconstitutional
Wednesday, June 30, 1999

Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

A federal judge yesterday blocked new Virginia laws limiting importation of
other states' garbage from taking effect on schedule tomorrow and said
Waste Management Inc. appears likely to win its suit challenging the laws
as unconstitutional.

View the full article at:

2. Washington Post (This article may be availble on 6/30 only.)

Judge Rubbishes Virginia's New Trash Laws
Wednesday, June 30, 1999

By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 30, 1999; Page A1

RICHMOND, June 29 - A federal judge today blocked enforcement of Virginia's
new laws restricting out-of-state garbage, calling them "crystal clear"
violations of the U.S. Constitution's protection of interstate commerce.

View the full article at:

3. Waste Management's press releases and court documents
<www.digitalrelease.com> (Search for Waste Management.)


Sara Kendall, Washington, DC Representative
Western Organization of Resource Councils
110 Maryland Avenue, NE, Suite 307
Washington, DC 20002
202-547-7040 (phone)
202-543-0978 (fax)