- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 23, 2002

RICHMOND U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Davis renewed her battle against out-of-state trash yesterday and announced proposed amendments to federal legislation to allow Virginia to control how much garbage it imports.
Virginia is the second-largest importer of trash after Pennsylvania, and received more than 4 tons in 2000, according to Mrs. Davis' office.
"This is not a distinction that the commonwealth desires to maintain, and I believe that several communities are risking long-term environmental problems in exchange for short-term financial gains," Mrs. Davis said.
Federal law does not allow states to decide how much trash they can import from other states. Mrs. Davis said her proposal would give Virginia and other states a choice.
"Every week, when I come home from Washington, I either follow trash trucks or am stuck between trash trucks, and I can tell you that it's not pleasant to open the sunroof of my car," said Mrs. Davis, a Republican from York County.
She said she plans to file amendments to a bill proposed by Rep. James C. Greenwood, Pennsylvania Republican. She said her amendments correct several loopholes in Mr. Greenwood's proposal, which is written in a way that it helps some of the states that import trash achieve regulating autonomy, but not Virginia.
Mr. Greenwood's legislation would allow states to impose percentage caps on out-of-state waste when landfill permits are issued or renewed. In Virginia, however, such permits are issued once for the duration of the life of the site. Michigan, Ohio and South Carolina also issue lifetime permits to landfills.
The congresswoman made the announcement flanked by Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and representatives from the offices of the governor and the state attorney general. Mr. Kaine endorsed the amendments as "the best chance this generation has to deal with this problem."
Mrs. Davis said that having the support of Virginia's administration will bolster her position in Congress. She said she was unable to drum up support from the previous administration of Gov. James S. Gilmore III in her battle against imports.
"Previously, I have had to deal with insinuations that I was a free agent, and could not present evidence that Virginia leaders shared my concerns," Mrs. Davis said.
Mrs. Davis, however, was unable to say how many in Virginia's congressional delegation supported her efforts. She said at least three members Reps. Virgil H. Goode Jr., an independent, and Democrats Robert C. Scott and Rick Boucher oppose her amendments.

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