Traditionally, the management of waste has been regulated by state and local governments. This authority has been restricted by the courts, including the United States Supreme Court, who have ruled that waste is an “article of interstate commerce.” Since it is the responsibility of Congress to regulate interstate commerce, it is questionable whether restrictions imposed by state or local governments on interstate waste are legally enforceable.
The importation of waste into Michigan is further complicated by the fact that trash is imported from another country, Canada. This raises the question of whether foreign waste is protected by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Proponents of Canadian trash imports argue that NAFTA and other international trade agreements essentially require that “products” (waste) from Canada (and Mexico) not be disadvantaged because of their foreign origin and that Canadian trash imports can only be subjected to the same restrictions that Michigan is allowed to impose on waste from other states.
Does Michigan ship hazardous waste to Canada?
According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), in 2002 Michigan shipped 45,000 tons of hazardous waste to Canada. However, in 2003, Michigan exports to Canada decreased by 38% to fewer than 28,000 tons. This number is dwarfed by the over 9.4 million cubic yards of waste Michigan received from Canada in 2003 alone. http://www.stabenow.senate.gov/general-13Jan2011/stoptrash/faq.htm
Go jump off your Chinese/Canadian bridge!