From the Detroit News
However, the Associated Press reported that Ontario officials estimate that the non-municipal waste not covered by the deal -- industrial and commercial waste and refuse generated at construction sites --accounts for more than half of the nearly 4 million metric tons of Canadian trash entering Michigan annually.
Levin said he believes the amount of such non-municipal waste is actually smaller. The senator's press office said a final figure on how much industrial-type trash will still enter the state's landfills will be clarified later.
The deal sets a clear timetable and commitment to stop municipal trash shipments. But even before mounting pressure in Congress and the Michigan legislature, Toronto officials had said they hoped to end their shipments by 2010.
Under the deal, Ontario is to reduce its municipal trash shipments by 20 percent by Dec. 31, 2007. Then, by the following year, it must reduce an additional 20 percent. All the municipal trash hauling would end Dec. 31, 2010. The timetable was based on when contracts were due to expire for the trash being hauled from Ontario municipalities
This only covers municipal wastes from Toronto. The one really doing real work on this is Mike Rogers. When Stabenow talked, he acted.
The bill that is scheduled to be voted on in the U.S. House Wednesday -- which is co-authored by U.S. Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, and John Dingell, D-Dearborn -- would give states authority over trash imported from foreign countries and require the U.S. government to make Canada notify it each time it sends in a trash truck.
Stabenow and Levin introduced a similar bill, but its chances of Senate are considered slim.
"We don't think this agreement is legally binding," said Sylvia Warner, press secretary to Rogers. "And we think it's more important that the people of Michigan are the ones making the decisions about their own landfill."
Meanwhile, Republican Mike Bouchard, who is challenging the freshman Stabenow in the November elections, dismissed the deal as "an election year promise from a Canadian bureaucrat."
Environmental ministry spokeswoman Kate Jordan said the deal was prompted by fears that if the Rogers-Dingell bill became law, Michigan could stop all trash shipments within 90 days.
"Our garbage trucks could have been turned back from the border as early as January 2007," said Jordan. "We needed to find a solution to avert that."