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A state report shows that Virginia is still the second-leading trash importer in the country.

Virginia took in almost 7.3 million tons of trash from Maryland, the District and other states last year. That’s up 3.5 percent from 2005.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality says Pennsylvania is still atop the trash heap, handling more than 9 million tons of out-of-state garbage in 2006.

Environmentalists worry that items such as medical waste, sludge, asbestos and incinerator ash threaten groundwater and soil.

Import supporters say modern landfills are safe and the trash provides revenue for struggling local governments.

State officials have tried to limit out-of-state trash imports. But courts have said that laws against trash imports violate interstate commerce protections.


Tot allowed to join parents in America

After two years of inaction, U.S. immigration authorities have approved a request for the 3-year-old son of a U.S. citizen to emigrate from Morocco and join his family in Virginia.

Abdeloihab Boujrad, 38, of Alexandria, and his wife, Leila, have been trying to get authorities to allow their son, Ahmedyassine, to join them. The toddler has been living with an aunt in Morocco since 2005.

The application had languished since June 2005 without any action by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. An Islamic civil rights group that took up Boujrad’s cause suspected the delay was caused by a similarity in Ahmedyassine’s name to the founder of the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated by Israel in 2004.

The decision to approve the application came a day after the Associated Press and other reports detailed the Boujrads’ plight.

“The matter has been resolved favorably,” USCIS spokesman Dan Kane said yesterday. “Once the issue was brought to our attention, we worked expeditiously to resolve it.”

Mr. Kane would not comment on what caused the delay.

Mr. Boujrad said yesterday that he also did not receive an explanation for the delay when he received a call that morning telling him the application had finally been approved. But he was so ecstatic that he did not care.

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