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September 2003

Michigan DEQ Director Testifies for State's Waste Empowerment

DEQ Director Steven E. Chester traveled to Washington D.C. where he testified before Congress urging them to provide states with the ability to plan for the long-term disposal of solid waste by passing legislation that will provide states with the tools to manage the interstate transfer of solid waste.

“Michigan has paid a price for the ten years we’ve been waiting to effectively manage disposal of solid waste within our borders,” said Director Chester. “Total out-of-state imports of waste into Michigan landfills rose to almost 12 million cubic yards in fiscal year 2002, up from approximately 6.4 million cubic yards in fiscal year 1999. This is an increase of 81 percent with the largest individual source of waste imports into Michigan originating from Canada.”

Director Chester’s testimony is on behalf of Governor Jennifer M. Granholm who along with six other states wrote to the Chairman of the Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. In that letter the six Governors requested an expeditious markup of H.R. 1730 that would provide state and local governments with the tools needed to reasonably limit the amount of out-of-state and international waste that crosses their borders, ensuring disposal capacity for their own state’s solid waste and assuring the protection of their state’s natural resources.

“We in Michigan are asking Congress to provide the states with the clear authority to adequately and comprehensively manage our need for environmentally sound solid waste disposal,” said Director Chester. “This does not mean providing states with the authority to button up our borders and exclude all imported waste, but providing states with the ability to control the management of solid waste disposal in the best interests of the local community and our states as a whole.”


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