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E-M:/ News Advisory On Imported Trash



Title:

News Advisory
For Tuesday, May 20

Contact:  Mike Garfield, Ecology Center    734-663-2400 ext. 104
                     James Clift, Michigan Environmental Council, 517-487-9539

NewBipartisan Push To Stop Imported Trash
Don't Trash Michigan Coalition Hails GOP Proposals, Democrats' Cooperation


On Tuesday, May 20 at 10:15 a.m. in Room 402-403 at the State Capitola coalition of 24 environmental, labor and faith-based organizations will announce its support for a package of major new Republican legislative proposals that signal the most important development this year in reforming waste laws and resolving Michigan’s imported trash crisis.  Rep. Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, chair of the Michigan House Land Use and Environment Committee, has scheduled three hearings beginning Wednesday in Oakland County, on seven bills she has introduced as well as other measures that have drawn early bipartisan support in the Legislature. Companion bills for most of Johnson’s proposals have been introduced in the Senate.  Introduction of the bills is significant because Johnson's committee has jurisdiction over landfills and out-of-state waste policy and key components of her proposed legislation is supported by the chief architect of similar legsiation introduced by Democrats.  The Don’t Trash Michigan campaign, which began in February, will unveil its analysis of these new proposals and what the future might hold for reform of Michigan’s trash laws.

Who:         Don’t Trash Michigan organizations; Michigan House Environmental Chair Ruth Johnson, R-Holly; state Rep. Paul Gieleghem Jr, D-Clinton Township;                         state Rep.Jerry Kooiman, R-Grand Rapids, other legislative leaders

Where:      Room 402-403, State Capitol Building, Lansing

When:      10:15 a.m.

Visuals:    Colorful, official ‘Don’t Trash Michigan’ banner

Background
The Don't Trash Michigan campaign believes one reason Michigan is an attractive dumping ground for imported waste is that it's cheap to dump here.  The campaign supports placing landfill or "tipping" fees on waste to make Michigan less cost-effective for places like Toronto, New Jersey, Ohio and Illinois to dump here. Unlike other states Michigan does not charge a fee to dump here.  The campaign believes revenues from tipping fees should go toward funding local recycling programs.  The campaign also supports prohibitions on waste from Canada and other states that fail to meet Michigan public health and environmental standards.