[Congressional Record Volume 140, Number 32 (Monday, March 21, 1994)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]


[Congressional Record: March 21, 1994]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

 
              INTERSTATE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE CONTROL ACT

                                 ______


                           HON. RICK SANTORUM

                            of pennsylvania

                    in the house of representatives

                         Monday, March 21, 1994

  Mr. SANTORUM. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join my colleagues from 
Pennsylvania in introducing important bipartisan legislation to help 
our State address its growing problems with out-of-State municipal 
waste. I would particularly like to commend Congressmen Jim Greenwood, 
Jack Murtha, Bill Clinger, and Joe McDade for their leadership in this 
effort.
  Back in 1992, I joined many of my Pennsylvania colleagues in writing 
to congressional leadership urging them to break the gridlock that has 
blocked action on this issue for so many years. I reiterate that plea 
today: we must act to give States a voice in limiting interstate waste 
shipments.
  This bill will give the Governors, in consultation with local 
communities, the authority to restrict interstate waste shipments.
  Pennsylvania imports far more municipal waste than any other State. 
In 1993 alone, nearly 4 million tons of waste was shipped into our 
State for disposal. Almost 2 million tons of waste was shipped to 
Pennsylvania from New York, and another 1.3 million tons came from New 
Jersey. According to the waste management industry, this waste is 
brought to our State because ``the political and economic costs of 
disposal in the generating state become so high that it is `less 
expensive' to transport [waste] to other states.'' In other words, 
since other States cannot find the political willpower to make hard 
decisions about where to place their landfills, they choose the easy 
way out and ship their waste to Pennsylvania.
  I believe that the time has come to give Pennsylvania and other 
States the power to say ``no'' to the huge shipments of interstate 
waste that cross our borders every day.
  Federal laws require States to develop plans for comprehensive State 
management of municipal waste. These plans can include programs to 
reduce waste and require recycling. But, citing the Interstate Commerce 
Clause of the Constitution, courts have repeatedly overturned State 
plans to limit interstate waste shipments. As a result, Governors are 
virtually powerless to control or restrict out-of-State waste. It is 
time to close this loophole.
  For Pennsylvania, this legislation is important because it will give 
us the ability to comprehensively manage all municipal solid waste in 
our State. For our neighbors, enactment of this legislation will mean 
that their political ``free-ride'' is over. These States will have to 
find ways to manage their own waste problems without pushing it across 
our borders.

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