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Bill Gives States Power Over Garbage

Governors would have broad authority to restrict garbage imports into their states under a measure the Senate approved Tuesday to counter a series of Supreme Court rulings.

The bill, passed 94-6, also would let some communities direct private garbage haulers to use designated landfills or incinerators, guaranteeing steady revenue to help pay off municipal bonds.

The authority to restrict imports of unwanted garbage has been sought for more than six years by leading waste-importing states. Those states complain that their recycling and other waste-reduction efforts simply made their landfills cheaper and more attractive to outof-state trash.

The courts for years have considered garbage to be interstate commerce and barred state and local governments from regulating it unless Congress first delegated such authority.

“It gives communities the basis for solving their environmental problems without having to solve everyone else’s environmental problems,” said Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind.