Nswma Challenges Michigan Waste Import Laws
The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of several bills signed into law March 26 by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Michigan, challenges the laws for violating several provisions of the United States Constitution.
NSWMA is challenging laws banning the disposal of certain non-hazardous materials in Michigan and extending the reach of that ban to other states and to Canada. NSWMA, joined by several solid waste management companies, noted the new legislation violates a number of constitutional principles including: the commerce clause, which authorizes Congress to “regulate commerce with foreign powers and among the states”; and, the foreign commerce clause, which restricts protectionist policies and restrains states and local government bodies, from excessive interference in foreign affairs.
This lawsuit comes on the heels of NSWMA’s recent successful lawsuit against a Wayne County, Michigan, ordinance that attempted to prevent any landfill located in that county from accepting waste from any jurisdiction that did not have a container deposit law similar to Michigan’s. A federal district court declared that ordinance unconstitutional in early February.
In other news, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it’s taking steps to deal with the flow of thousands of tonnes of Canadian garbage into landfills in Michigan. In a letter to U.S. Senator Debbi Stabenow of Michigan, EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt said the agency may give the state a one-time grant to help ensure that waste crossing the border meets Michigan environment and recycling regulations.
Contact NSWMA at 800-424-2869 or visit www.nswma.org
In this edition of Solid Waste & Recycling we take a close look at issues in Ontario. This is because of major developments in the funding of the province’s blue box program, the adoption of the CCME compost standards, EA reform, and a new directive to divert 60 per cent of waste from landfill. The next edition will offer more articles on developments in other provinces. — ed.