Michigan Reps. John Dingell, a Democrat, and Mike Rogers, a Republican, today reintroduced legislation intended to regulate trash imports from Canada and other nations. According to an Associated Press report, the new bill would give states more power to limit the shipment and dumping of international municipal solid waste until the Environmental Protection Agency issues regulations on trash from Canada. A similar measure passed the U.S. House last year but died in the Senate.
"The citizens of Michigan must be protected from unwanted shipments of foreign trash - action is long overdue," Dingell said in a statement introducing the bill.
Though last year’s legislative attempts to limit trash imports from Canada failed, they did have a significant effect. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, D-Mich., along with Dingell, announced an agreement with Ontario last summer to phase out shipments of municipal trash from Toronto and other Ontario communities into Michigan by 2010, including a 40 percent decrease by the end of 2008. At the time, the agreement was criticized for failing to address the industrial and commercial waste that comprises more than half of the 4 million metric tons of Canadian trash entering Michigan each year.