The Richmond Times-Dispatch made a good point when considering New York’s continued need to ship its garbage south to Virginia.
In an editorial this week, the TD noted that Virginia took into account New York’s concerns more than a decade ago when the commonwealth passed its one gun a month law.
Government officials in the Empire State were squawking about all the murders and how many guns used in those crimes could be traced to Virginia firearms dealers. The General Assembly took this into account and Gov. Douglas Wilder signed the law limiting the purchase of guns to one each month to prevent them from being bought in large quantities and shipped north.
Ten years later and Virginia is second in the nation in garbage shipped in from outside states. Most of the garbage comes from New York. The General Assembly passed a law limiting the amount of garbage being imported, but the federal courts overturned the statute citing the Interstate Commerce clause.
We have complained endlessly to New York, yet the garbage still flows south. We bent the Second Amendment yet they shove the Interstate Commerce clause in our faces.
Virginia currently imports 5.2 million tons of garbage a year from out of state. The sad thing is that states, like New York, have an unlimited amount of land in which to construct landfills for their own waste. There has been federal legislation proposing that no state ship out its garbage until exhausting all efforts to dispose of it within that state. That failed.
Rep. JoAnn Davis, R-1st District, also proposed legislation that would have allowed states to cap the amount of imported garbage. That bill is still sitting in committee and will most likely die without so much as a hearing.
That means Virginia can pursue its quest to be the No. 1 importer of garbage. The commonwealth is still a good 5 million tons behind Pennsylvania. So now we can let those trash trucks speed down I-95 and let the garbage barges drift up the Chesapeake Bay and James River to the Charles City County “Garbage Port.”
All Virginia can do is to continue to fight it… because other states, like New York, aren’t going to fight for us.