Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (05/16/1995)


Title I: Interstate Waste

Title II: Flow Control

Title III: Ground Water Monitoring

Title IV: State or Regional Solid Waste Plans

Title V: General Provisions

Interstate Transportation of Municipal Solid Waste Act of 1995 - Title I: Interstate Waste - Amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act to authorize State Governors, if requested by an affected local government, to prohibit the disposal of out-of-State municipal solid waste in landfills or incinerators subject to their jurisdiction. Permits Governors to limit the quantity of out-of-State waste received at landfills and incinerators excepted from such prohibition to an annual amount equal to or greater than the quantity received during 1993.

Authorizes States that imported more than 750,000 tons of out-of- State municipal solid waste in 1993 to limit the amount of such waste received for disposal at landfills and incinerators in the importing State as follows: (1) in 1996, 95 percent of the amount exported to the State in 1993; (2) in 1997 through 2002, 95 percent of the amount exported to the State in the previous year; and (3) in 2003 and each succeeding year, 65 percent of the amount exported in 1993.

Establishes limitations on waste exports to landfills or incinerators not covered by host community agreements or permits authorizing receipt of out-of-State municipal solid waste.

Prohibits Governors from exercising authorities under this Act: (1) if such action would result in the violation of a host community agreement or a permit issued from the State to receive out-of-State municipal solid waste; or (2) except as otherwise provided, in a manner that would require landfills or incinerators covered by the exception to reduce the amount of out-of-State municipal solid waste received from any State to an annual quantity less than that received during 1993.

Makes the authority to prohibit the disposal of out-of-State municipal solid waste inapplicable to landfills and incinerators that: (1) received documented shipments of such waste during 1993; (2) in the case of landfills, are in compliance with all applicable Federal and State laws and regulations relating to operation, design and location, leachate collection, groundwater monitoring, and financial assurance for closure and corrective action; or (3) in the case of incinerators, are in compliance with applicable requirements of the Clean Air Act and State laws and regulations relating to facility design and operations. Permits disposal of such waste at facilities that are not in compliance with applicable Federal and State laws and regulations unless disposal of waste that is generated within the State is also prohibited.

Lists conditions under which host community agreements are prohibited.

Authorizes States that imposed a special fee on the processing or disposal of out-of-State municipal waste on or before April 3, 1994, to continue to impose cost recovery surcharges for such activities subject to certain conditions.

States conditions relating to demonstration of local or regional need under which a Governor may accept, deny, or modify an application for a municipal solid waste management facility permit.

Title II: Flow Control - Municipal Solid Waste Flow Control Act of 1995 - Authorizes States, political subdivisions, and public service authorities to exercise flow control authority for municipal solid waste and for recyclable materials voluntarily relinquished by the owner or generator that are generated in their jurisdictions by directing such waste and materials to waste management facilities or recyclables facilities if such authority: (1) had been exercised prior to and was being implemented on May 15, 1994, pursuant to a law, regulation, or other legally binding provision or had been exercised prior to such date but whose implementation was prevented by injunction, temporary restraining order, or other court action or was suspended by the State or political subdivision because of such actions; and (2) has been implemented by designating before such date the particular waste facilities or public service authorities in operation as of such date (or prior to but temporarily inoperative on such date) to which the waste or recyclable materials must be delivered.

Limits such authority to categories of waste to which flow control authority requiring a movement to a facility was actually applied on or before May 15, 1994, or to the specific categories for which a State, political subdivision, or public service authority, prior to such date, had committed to the designation of a facility. Establishes additional flow control authority for States or political subdivisions that, on or before January 1, 1984, adopted regulations that required the transportation, management, or disposal of solid waste from residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial sources to specifically identified waste management facilities. Authorizes a political subdivision to exercise such authority notwithstanding the requirement that facilities are designated before such date if the subdivision has taken specified actions, prior to such date, to commit to the designation of a facility to be constructed. Lists additional conditions under which political subdivisions, including State solid waste management districts, may exercise such authority.

States conditions under which a political subdivision, if it had State authority to do so prior to May 15, 1994, may exercise flow control authority over waste generated within its jurisdiction.

Permits States or political subdivisions, on the request of a municipal solid waste generator, to authorize the diversion of waste generated by such generator to an alternative solid waste facility where such diversion would provide a higher level of health and environmental protection or reduce potential liability of the generator under Federal or State law.

Permits the exercise of flow control authority only if the State or political subdivision certifies that revenues derived from such authority will be used solely for solid waste management services.

Considers laws, regulations, or acts of States or political subdivisions that implement flow control authority to be a reasonable regulation of commerce.

Prohibits application of the exercise of flow control authority to any facility that is listed on the National Priorities List under the Comprehensive Environmental, Response, Compensation, and Liability Act or, as of May 15, 1994, was the subject of a pending proposal by the Administrator to be so listed.

Title III: Ground Water Monitoring - Makes certain groundwater monitoring requirements inapplicable to new or existing municipal solid waste landfill units or lateral expansions of such units that dispose of fewer than 20 tons of municipal solid waste daily, based on an annual average, if: (1) there is no evidence of groundwater contamination from such units or expansions; and (2) the units or expansions serve a community that experiences an annual interruption of at least three consecutive months of surface transportation that prevents access to a regional waste management facility or that has no practicable waste management alternative and such units are located in an area that annually receives 25 inches of precipitation or less.

Permits States to require monitoring of units that would otherwise be exempt if necessary to protect groundwater resources and ensure compliance with a State groundwater protection plan. Allows the State of Alaska to exempt units of Alaska Native villages or in or near small, remote Alaska villages from some or all of such requirements if such requirements would be infeasible, would not be cost-effective, or would be inappropriate because of the unit's remote location. Applies this exemption only to landfills that dispose of less than 20 tons of municipal solid waste daily.

Allows the suspension of groundwater monitoring requirements if a landfill operator demonstrates that there is no potential for migration of hazardous constituents from the unit to the uppermost aquifer during the active life of the unit and the post-closure care period.

Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate revisions allowing States to promulgate alternate design, operating, landfill gas monitor, financial assurance, and closure requirements for landfills which receive no more than 20 tons of municipal solid waste daily, provided such requirements are sufficient to protect human health and the environment.

Declares that it is the intent of this title to reinstate Environmental Protection Agency rules promulgated on October 9, 1991, regarding groundwater monitoring at municipal solid waste landfill units.

Title IV: State or Regional Solid Waste Plans - Amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act to state the finding that the Nation's improved standard of living has resulted in an increase in the amount of solid waste generated per capita, and the Nation has not given adequate consideration to solid waste reduction strategies. States as an objective of the Act (and the State and regional solid waste planning provisions in particular) the promotion of local and regional planning for effective solid waste collection and disposal and reduction of the amount generated per capita through the use of waste reduction strategies. Includes expeditious reduction and elimination of solid waste generation as a national policy.

Allows a State to include in its plan provisions for establishment of a State per capita solid waste reduction goal and a program that ensures that local and regional plans are consistent with State plans developed for landfills, dumps, and regional solid waste management.

Title V: General Provisions - Authorizes the Administrator to study and report to the Congress on: (1) solid waste management issues associated with increased border use resulting from implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement; and (2) the effect on the U.S.-Canada border region of solid waste border traffic resulting from implementation of the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement. Directs the Administrator to study and report to the Congress on the quantities of hazardous waste and sludge (including sewage sludge) being transported across State lines and the ultimate disposition of such waste and sludge.