2005 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS
ENVIRONMENT

SUPPORTING THE LEGAL RIGHTS OF AMERICA’S CITIES TO REVIEW AND APPROVE SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITIES WITHIN THEIR JURISDICTION

WHEREAS, America’s cities are responsible for the proper management of municipal solid waste that provides for the safety and welfare of their citizens; and,

WHEREAS, America’s cities must preserve the traditional legal rights and authority necessary to perform this important responsibility and ensure safe and efficient solid waste management including proper control over zoning, siting, environmental review and approval of solid waste facilities; and

WHEREAS, Congress found it necessary to amend the Interstate Commerce Act to provide a federal preemption that grants the federal government exclusive jurisdiction over railways, including siting, environmental review, and approval of railway facilities; and,

WHEREAS, some developers have sought to develop solid waste facilities near railways and claim a federal preemption, thereby ignoring traditional local and state requirements for development by use of the federal preemption; and,

WHEREAS, current application of the preemption to rail based solid waste facilities harms local efforts to promote sound solid waste policy and the environmentally appropriate management of solid waste facilities; and,

WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, for purposes of this resolution, recognizes that any reference to rail based solid waste facilities shall not include those facilities that are solely intermodal container facilities at which only containers that are sealed and never opened are handled for purposes of consolidating the containers for transport to another location; and

WHEREAS, the issue may be justly corrected by amending the Interstate Commerce Act to clarify that rail based solid waste facilities are not integral to the operation of railroads and that the federal preemption does not apply to these solid waste facilities. NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the Congress to enact legislation that fully restores state and local control of rail based solid waste facilities to states and local governments in recognition of the local laws governing such solid waste facilities.

©2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352
info@usmayors.org