WASTE OFFICIALS ARE keeping tabs on proposed legislation that would require New York state to set routing requirements for long-haul trucks and trucks carrying hazardous materials.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., originally submitted the legislation in January, but has since revised it to include transport trucks after the Upstate New York Safety Coalition Task Force raised concerns that his first proposal failed to address residential waste, which is not considered hazardous material according to the state Department of Transportation's regulations. The task force is concerned with the impact haulers using local roads have on the environment and infrastructure.
A major part of Schumer's new proposal is designed to keep haulers off of local roads, instead shifting that traffic back onto the interstates. The proposed routes would apply to five-axle, single-trailer trucks carrying solid waste that travel on the national highway network for more than 200 miles. Chaz Miller, state programs director for the National Solid Wastes Management Association, says that would require a complete overhaul of existing routing systems, the logistics of which would be up to the state. “It would be very tough to do,” he says.
The legislation is unlikely to pass on its own, says Miller, but would have a better chance if folded into another bill of similar interest.
Nevertheless, Miller notes that the legislation is still in the early stages of being introduced, and says there is little reason for waste companies to be alarmed at the moment. “Just because it's introduced doesn't mean it's going anywhere,” he says.