Editorial - Trash and the constitution
Bills passed in the late 1980s and early 1990s to discourage out-of-state garbage from being brought into West Virginia landfills were declared unconstitutional last fall by a federal judge. Now lawmakers must revisit an issue many hoped they had seen the last of.
Despite their reluctance, some action will be necessary because in September U.S. District Judge Frederick Stamp ruled that the solid-waste disposal laws that bar out-of-state waste are unconstitutional because they discourage interstate commerce. The ruling also voided provisions that tie landfill site approval to a certificate of need assuring residents that the landfill is needed for local trash and not being built just as a money-making venture.
The lawmakers' challenge is to craft a bill that will pass constitutional muster without making the state the dumping ground of the East Coast.