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E-M:/ FW: Dingell - Canadian Trash


News From Congressman John D. Dingell

Serving Michigan's 15th Congressional District


Friday, May 19, 2006

Contact: Adam Benson, 202.225.4071 (office) / 202.271.8587 (cell)




14 of 15 Michigan Congressional Members Join Call for Congressional Action on Canadian Trash

Dingell Asks House Leadership to Help Turn the Trash Trucks Around


Washington, DC - Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI15) and thirteen other Members of the Michigan Congressional Delegation called on House Speaker Dennis Hastert to bring legislation that could curtail shipments of Canadian trash from coming into Michigan to the Floor for a vote.


"Last summer this bill passed out of subcommittee and full committee by voice votes with no opposition," said Dingell.  "It should be allowed to be voted on by the full House of Representatives.


"We take pride in being the Great Lakes State. Our home should not become a garbage bin for the waste that Canada doesn't want to deal with itself. I would also note that a recent Department of Homeland Security report on imported Canadian trash found the imported trash is a security threat as the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection has no effective way to screen or inspect these trash trucks as they cross into the United States."


Michigan is the third largest importer of waste in the nation, with nearly 5 million tons brought to Michigan annually. Since the summer of 2003, the number of trucks coming from Canada jumped from 180 per day to 350 per day.


The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed HR 2491 in June 2005. The letter from the Members can be seen below and the letter and more information on the Homeland Security report are also available at www.house.gov.dingell.



May 16, 2006


The Honorable Dennis Hastert


United States House of Representatives

H232 Capitol

Washington, DC 20515


Dear Mr. Speaker,


            We write again today to request that HR 2491, the International Solid Waste Importation and Management Act of 2005, be brought to the floor for consideration as expeditiously as possible.  You will remember that we wrote you in November 2005 with the same request.  Unfortunately, the bill did not make it to the floor by the end of last year as we had urged in our last letter.


            In June, HR 2491 passed both the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials and the full Committee by voice vote.  As you know, voice votes are traditionally saved for only the most non-controversial bills.


            The issue of waste coming into Michigan from Ontario, Canada for disposal is one of great concern to the people we represent.  Currently, hundreds of trash trucks come across the bridge into Michigan each day.  Just recently, human waste was spilled onto a Michigan road from a Canadian trash truck.  This is the second such incident since March 2005.  


            This is also a national security issue.  In January, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General issued a report - originally labeled "For Official Use Only" - which found that U.S. Customs "does not have an effective method to screen and inspect the 350 truckloads of municipal solid waste that enter the U.S. daily through the Detroit and Port Huron ports of entry."  The report was released to the public by Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Chairman Norm Coleman and Ranking Member Carl Levin.


The goal of HR 2491 simply is to implement and enforce an existing bilateral agreement that has been too long ignored and to give states tools to manage foreign municipal solid waste being disposed of within its borders. 


            As you know, HR 2491 is the bipartisan product of hard work and tough negotiations.  We made every attempt to provide the people of Michigan, as well as other states, with some relief while not affecting or amending any prior law relating to the need for consistency with international trade agreements.  HR 2491 is a good bill that meets the needs of all concerned.


            Thank you for you attention to this matter and we look forward to expeditious floor consideration.






John D. Dingell                                     Sander Levin                                         Dale Kildee

Member of Congress                             Member of Congress                             Member of Congress







John Conyers                                        Dave Camp                                          Bart Stupak

Member of Congress                             Member of Congress                             Member of Congress







Joe Schwarz                                         Vern Ehlers                                          Mike Rogers

Member of Congress                             Member of Congress                             Member of Congress






Carolyn C. Kilpatrick                             Fred Upton                                           Joe Knollenberg

Member of Congress                             Member of Congress                             Member of Congress






Thaddeus McCotter                               Pete Hoekstra              

Member of Congress                             Member of Congress