In recent times, this means the restrictions placed on the movement of waste materials across state lines. Many state and local governments have consistently limited the mobility of out-of-state wastes, with some outrightly banning and others placing stringent restrictions.
This is, in most cases, discriminatory and unconstitutional. And that is the reason why many cases have made it to the Supreme Court. Remarkably, the court has often ruled that the Dormant Commerce Clause prohibits states and local governments from placing restrictions on waste movement across state lines. And that all legislations that have discriminatory intent against interstate transport are unconstitutional.
In full support of its members, the National Solid Waste Management Authority [NSWMA] has followed the court cases, either by being a party to such suit or personally filing an amicus brief before the court in support of some or all its members.
For emphasis, solid wastes are a normal part of interstate transport. The Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution offers it all necessary legal protections. With this, all members of the NSWMA have the legal authority to move solid wastes in and out of all states, only with the exclusion of Hawaii. Many U.S. states, too, can import and export trash for disposals without any legal consequences.
Regardless, some regulations still guide the transporters of hazardous and dangerous waste in and out of many U.S. states.
Requirements for Interstate Transporters of Solid Waste
The United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation have come together to put in place regulations for the transportation of solid and hazardous waste. These regulations are as contained in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 263 (Title 40).
Getting an EPA ID (Identification Number)
To keep track of solid and hazardous waste, EPA requires all interstate transporters and transportation companies to have an EPA Identification Number. Without this number, the transportation of solid waste is not permitted. Also, as a way of centralization, each transportation company has a specific number, and all its solid waste transporters use that number.
Compliance with EPA’s Hazardous Waste Manifest System
This waste manifest method helps in tracking hazardous and dangerous waste from its point of departure to its arrival an off-site garbage management facility.
Before a transporter accepts solid waste, a manifest must be provided, signed, and handed over to the driver. The conveyor must deliver the waste to the next transporter or waste and recycling facility.
Upon doing this, the recipient must sign, date, and hand over a duplicate of the transporter’s manifest.
Handling Hazardous Waste Discharges
This is to handle an accidental discharge or spillage of hazardous waste to protect the public health and environmental sanitation.
If a discharge or spillage happens, the transporter must inform the local authorities for immediate action.
When a severe spill or accident happens, the transporter or conveyor must inform the NRC (National Response Center) immediately through all available means.
Also, the transporter must ensure that the discharge and spillage get cleared to no longer pose harm to society.
Obeying All Applicable U.S. DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations
All transporters are mandated to monitor all applicable DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations. They include labeling, marking, placarding, etc.