During a three-day meeting of the Western Governors Association in Fargo, N.D., which begins Sunday, Gov. Norm Bangerter will push to keep the federal government from interfering in how states handle garbage problems.
Bangerter and other area governors hope to send a message to Congress that they want control over disposing the trash from homes and businesses as well as the non-toxic waste produced by industry."Western governors want the federal role in solid-waste management to be defined as that of ensuring state program effectiveness," said the governor's chief of staff, Bud Scruggs.
The governor is planning to introduce a resolution calling for the federal government to avoid getting involved in issuing permits or enforcing regulations but to provide adequate funding to meet federally set standards.
"The governors believe that solid waste management is an issue best addressed at the state and local level," a draft of the resolution reads, proposing "a state-based approach for the protection of public health and the environment."
Also during the summer meeting of the region's governors, Bangerter will lead a discussion the transportation and dumping of garbage outside the area producing it.
Leaders in metropolitan areas that have run out of room to handle the solid waste of their citizens are looking to the wide open spaces of the West to take their trash.
The governor will also talk about the West as a site for hazardous and radioactive wastes, and the problems associated transporting it through a state as well as with agreeing to dispose of it.
While in North Dakota, Bangerter is also scheduled to meet with Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan to discuss a number of issues including the Central Utah Project and wilderness.
Besides being active in waste issues with the Western Governors Association, Bangerter is also a member of the National Governors Association's energy and environment committee.
In that capacity, the governor will testify Wednesday before the Senate Subcommittee on Environmental Protection about the issue of interstate transportation and disposal of solid waste.