Environmental Protection

USDA Seeks Comment on Transport of Garbage from Hawaii

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared an environmental assessment on a request to allow the interstate movement of garbage from Hawaii to a landfill in Washington, according to a Jan. 19 Federal Register notice.

The environmental assessment documents the review and analysis of the environmental impacts associated with, and alternatives to, the movement of palletized or containerized baled municipal solid waste to three existing ports on the Columbia River via barge and the transfer and transportation of the waste via truck or rail to the landfill.

The importation and interstate movement of garbage is regulated by APHIS to protect against the introduction into and dissemination within the United States of plant and animal pests and diseases.

In June 2008, APHIS found no significant impact on the petition from Hawaiian Waste Systems LLC. But in November 2009, the service received a revised petition from the company to transport 150,000 tons of municipal solid waste annually in plastic airtight bales that are either palletized or containerized in 20- and 40-foot shipping containers from Hawaii to Roosevelt Regional Landfill in Washington by any of three methods:

  • barge to Teevin Brother Terminal in Rainier, Wash., followed by truck or rail transportation;
  • barge to the Port of Longview, Wash., followed by truck or rail transportation; or
  • barge to the Port of Portland, Ore., followed by truck or rail transportation.

Comments on the assessment must be made before Feb. 18. To view materials and submit comments electronically, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal here

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