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Local government and states are spending large amounts of money and time deciding on methods of reducing waste .Waste materials continues to increase day by day and they can be a health hazard when left unmanaged. Waste is a danger to the human life, human health and the environment. Waste management involves collecting, transporting, processing, disposing or recycling and controlling waste materials (Supreme Court, 2000). There are various method of waste disposal which include incineration, plasma gasification, integrated management of waste and landfill. The Prevent Drowning in Waste Act of 2010 is aimed at monitoring waste disposal through landfills. Landfills are expensive to build and manage and the senate has to come up with policies to cut down these costs. The bill will regulate the business waste disposal in this state. Landfill is a waste disposal method that involves burying of waste materials in the ground. It's the duty of the local government to take care of the landfills in the United States.
The proposed bill has proposed the following provisions; no commercial (privately owned) landfill in the state will accept any waste from a source originating outside the state's borders. OYEZ (2004) observe that no landfill in the state will accept medical waste originating from out of state sources, but landfills will accept medical waste originating within the state subject to certain safety precautions. "Medical waste" is defined as waste from hospitals that potentially carries infectious or disease-causing germs. No landfill in the state could accept more than 3000 tons per day of waste from any source, in-state or out of state. Trucks, trains and barges that transport waste within the state's borders must comply with regulations issued by the state's department of environmental protection, some of which may be less strict, and some more strict, than regulations on the same subject issued by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
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Legal and constitutional issues raised by the draft provisions of the proposed legislation
Landfills are continuously becoming full. Toxins and heavy metals leak to the water surrounding these legal landfills as a result toxic gasses and explosives are being generated. With these dangers the federal government has to control the amount of waste dumped in its landfills. Although the US constitution commercial clause states that, states are not allowed to restrict transfer of wastes from other states unless the waste is from those states, there will be no commercial (privately owned) landfill in the state will accept any waste from a source originating outside the state's borders (Supreme Court, 2000). In a court in the Supreme Court of 1994, Carbone versus Clarkson on the issue of solid waste flow, the court held that the waste flow controlled at the state facility where the waste originated is unconstitutional. Carbone was a private recycler who wanted to transfer waste to a cheaper recycling facility out of state. Their efforts were cut short by Clarkson it was stopped to them from exporting waste to the other state. The court ruled that Clarkson was infringing the Dormant Commerce Clause by imposing high fees in the Ordinance Clause.
The ruling of the courts on the Commerce Clause shows that the congress authority to make rules and regulations is limited. The court has in several cases put up laws that limit the transfer of solid wastes from state to state based on the Commerce Clause. In the case of Massachusetts versus EPA, where several states tried to make EPA establish carbon dioxide and other gases regulations. This shows that the congress has limited power to put up rules that involve public safety. The European Commission in 1999 came up landfill directives that saw the reduction of the amounts of wastes that were dumped in the landfill. The commission has advocate for measures such as recycling and re-use to reduce the amount of wastes that go to the landfills. This order is aimed at decreasing the toxicity that arises from the landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency has come up with recommendations that will require all Municipal Solid Wastes Landfills to put a demonstration that shows that there is no migration of solid wastes to clan water sources. A reduction of wastes in the landfill will enable Municipal Landfill managers to carry out these activities with ease and low cost (Biers, 2006).
Medical waste refers to any waste materials produced in health care institutions, such as clinics, dental practices, hospitals, blood banks, laboratories, medical research facilities, and veterinary clinics, physician's offices and hospitals. Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988 states that medical waste is all the waste generated in the treatment, diagnosis, immunization of animals or human beings, testing or production of biological products ,and research pertaining. This includes not needed surgical gloves, culture dishes and any glassware, discarded needles, discarded lancet, removed body organs and blood-soaked bandages.
The congress of 2008 had enacted laws that sought to govern the relationship between owners of rails and trucks. The law sought to make owners of the trucks and rail to comply with the state rules and regulation regarding waste management and disposal. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act provides that the Environmental Protection Agency to lay down rules and standards that the transporters of waste materials should meet. The Environmental Protection Agency requires transporters to label, fill in the manifestation form, and deliver waste to the required waste facility as per the manifestation form and to keep records.
Opinions put forward by the Supreme Courts gives the senate a reason to get involved in transportation and transfer of waste materials within the states. The judgments made by these courts have enforced rules that are only effective to a particular case. These rulings are not valid since they are not enacted as laws. It is the senates' view that legislation of the Prevent Drowning in Waste Act of 2010 provisions be enacted. This will put forth actual law that will be consistent with the constitution. These provisions will enable this state to be independent and develop a sufficient method of managing and disposing waste (Supreme Court, 2000).
Considering that the only landfills in the state with the capacity to accept more than 3000 tons per day accept primarily waste from out of state and many of them are currently accepting up to 5000 tons per day regularly. This makes it hard for the municipal landfills to control wastes efficiently and efficiently. The revenue derived from 2000 tons per day is approximately $70,000 per day and $25 million per year. With the enactment of these provisions the Municipal Landfills will cut down operating expenses and generate more revenue. The Landfill managers will concentrate more on activities that will generate revenue and reduce the amount of waste materials from their jurisdiction.
We need to put forth legislation that helps to solve the problems of waste management that this state is facing. Over dumping of waste in Municipal landfills is a major problem in this state and has lead to pollution of water and air. The proposed legislation is aimed at dealing with these problems. This policy also seeks to deal with the flow of waste. The flow of wastes will be controlled by the various states that the waste originates. This policy will in general help to reduce the amount of wastes in the landfill, it will enhance control and authority over the waste flows. It will also facilitate other methods of waste disposal such as recycling and incineration (Biers, 2006).
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For this policy to be effective, all wastes flowing out of this state will have to stop temporarily. The Municipal will have to approximate the amount of wastes it is willing to accept. The municipal will be given the power to freeze any excess amount of wastes taken to their facilities. The municipal will be given the power to determine the location to dispose waste materials from private enterprises. This bill will ensure that large states will not dump their wastes in smaller states. The large states will have to cater for their own wastes.
Earlier efforts by the states to put up waste regulation measures have proved futile because they are inconsistence with the constitution.I would recommend the senate not to proceed with the legislation. The policy to stop importation of waste from other states is not convenient as some states will not be able to manage their wastes effectively (Supreme Court, 2000). Authority over the flow of waste materials will bring conflicts between the states. The period between the implementation and the execution of the provision will bring inconveniences and may result to pilling up of wastes. The whole process of delivering waste materials to the right waste landfill is time consuming and expensive and will result to pilling of wastes.
I would recommend the senate to seek other methods of waste management. The senate should seek policies that enhance shared waste management responsibility. Waste management is the responsibility of the business enterprises and citizens and government. The legislators should come up with policies such as waste prevention policies (Biers, 2006). Prevention policies should be based on the principles that encourage minimization of waste production and avoidance. Business should be encouraged to adopt processes that emit few waste products. The senate should remind manufacturers and produces of their responsibility for the conservation of the environment and the costs involved in managing wastes. The public should be sensitized on the problems associated with waste materials (OYEZ, 2004).
The senate should develop policies that enhance and improve waste transportation facilities and reduce waste movement. For the senate to effectively monitor waste movement and reduction, the senate can use economic and regulatory tools. Research should be done and a comparison of statistics made. From the comparison, management plans should be made and monitoring done on daily basis. Proper legislation is essential in waste management to ensure that the problem is solved amicably.