senate resolution no.17

Senators Camilleri, Geiss, Singh and Chang offered the following resolution:

A resolution to encourage the United States Federal Government to increase transparency and notification standards around the transportation of toxic waste materials across state and community lines.

Whereas, On February 3, 2023, a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, spilling hazardous chemicals. The spill killed numerous wildlife, prompted hundreds of people to evacuate their homes, and caused many residents to complain about rashes, sore throats, and headaches; and

Whereas, Solid toxic waste from the crash was sent to the U.S. Ecologyís Wayne Disposal Inc. Hazardous Waste Landfill in Belleville, and liquid toxic waste was sent to the Republic Industrial and Energy Solutions LLC facility in Romulus. However, Michiganís state officials and congressional representatives were not notified or consulted in the decision to send toxic waste to Belleville and Romulus until February 24, 2023; and

Whereas, Federal law requires generators of hazardous waste to prepare a manifest when the waste is shipped off-site to track it from the point of generation to a waste management facility that will store, treat, or dispose of the waste. The manifest form contains information on the type and quantity of the waste being transported, instructions for handling the waste, and signature lines for all parties that handle the waste. Each party that handles the waste keeps a copy of the manifest for their own records; and

Whereas, Federal law lacks uniform reporting and notification requirements, instead deferring to state laws to regulate the details of waste being transported through their jurisdictions. This jeopardizes the health and safety of citizens across America, because first responders are at elevated risk of being unprepared for accidents involving transportation of hazardous waste passing through their communities. Further, waste generators must comply with a patchwork of varying regulations, increasing the likelihood of non-compliance and inadequate information sharing; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate, That we encourage the United States Federal Government to increase national transparency and notification standards around the transportation of hazardous waste materials across state and community lines to include advance notice to governorsí offices and state and local officials for impacted areas, including the communities that the waste will be traveling through; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and Michiganís senatorial and congressional delegation.