May 23, 2006
The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) has submitted comments before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Railroads, which is examining unregulated waste management facilities on railroad properties. Though the organization says it does not oppose rail transport of solid waste, it would like to see more government oversight.
“When waste is sorted, recyclables separated, and materials shredded, baled and otherwise processed or dumped on the ground and then picked-up and loaded into a container, they are ‘solid waste management facilities’ that are strictly regulated at the state and local level,” said Bruce Parker, president and CEO of NSWMA, in a press release. “These same activities are taking place at railroad facilities, but are unregulated because of claims of exclusive jurisdiction under the federal Surface Transportation Board, which does not have a regulatory program in place.”
“Unregulated waste processing facilities at railroads threaten the public health and the environment,” said Steve Changaris, NSWMA’s Northeast Regional Manager, who has been managing two broad coalitions seeking to regulate railroad waste. “By excluding these railroad facilities from permitting, we undermine the public trust over proper waste management.”