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Old September 1st, 2006, 06:23 AM   #1
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Default F Canadians, Wheee!

Chain letter from Debbie Stabbenow

We did it!

Thanks to you and thousands of others who signed my online petition to stop Canadian trash, we have finally been able to reach an agreement to stop the shipments of trash from Toronto and other Ontario municipalities into Michigan .

In an unprecedented effort, Senator Levin joined me in reaching an agreement with the government of Ontario to end the dumping of Ontario 's municipal trash in Michigan once and for all. The agreement will phase-out the importation of Ontario 's municipal solid waste over the next four years. There will be an immediate 20% reduction of Ontario 's municipal solid waste within the first year, a 40% reduction within two years and a complete stop to all of Ontario 's municipal solid waste within four years.

Our fight to stop Canadian trash

As you know, I have been leading the fight to stop the trash since early in 2003. I have repeatedly demanded that the Bush Administration use its authority to stop the trash by enforcing our existing treaty with Canada . Not only has the Bush Administration refused to enforce the treaty, but they have also opposed legislative efforts to stop or restrict the flow of waste across our borders.

In order to address our homeland security, I secured inspection equipment at our border and passed legislation in the Senate, as part of the Homeland Security Appropriations bill, to impose inspection fees on Canadian haulers. Four times, the Senate has passed the Levin amendment to halt the Canadian trash shipments if the Department of Homeland Security cannot demonstrate that they are screened as effectively as other cargo, but so far the House of Representatives has opposed the amendment every time.

What is the Stabenow-Levin agreement?

Working with Senator Levin, I negotiated this agreement with Ontario 's Minister of the Environment, Laurel Broten, to phase out Ontario 's municipal solid waste shipments to Michigan over the next four years. The agreement also has the full commitment of the City of Toronto and the other key Ontario municipalities that are shipping trash to Michigan .

Under the terms of this agreement, there will be an immediate 20% reduction of Canadian municipal solid waste within the first year, a 40% reduction within two years and a complete stop to all Canadian municipal solid waste within four years. In addition, Ontario 's municipalities will not renew their existing contracts to ship trash to Michigan .

If the strict terms of this agreement are met, Senator Levin and I have agreed to not pursue our amendments which passed the Senate as part of the 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations bill.

How many Canadian trash trucks are coming into Michigan every day?

Nearly 350 truckloads of trash enter Michigan every day from Ontario . This Canadian trash made up 19% of all the trash disposed in Michigan landfills last year. The trash trucks will be reduced to approximately 287 trucks in year one, 209 in year two, and all trucks carrying municipal waste will be stopped by the end of year four.

How will Ontario meet this goal?

The province of Ontario , in conjunction with their municipalities, will be implementing a plan to manage their own waste including: siting more landfills, expanding their recycling programs, and opening energy-from-waste facilities that use new technologies to turn waste into fuel.

Without this agreement, how much trash would be imported into Michigan ?

Without this agreement, over 2.78 million metric tons more trash would come into Michigan between now and 2010, and even more after that date. In addition, Ontario 's municipalities could renew their contracts with Michigan 's landfills and continue sending their trash to Michigan beyond 2010.

What will happen if the Canadians cannot meet the terms of the agreement?

If the terms of the agreement are not met, Senators Levin and I will renew our legislative efforts to stop the trash coming into Michigan .

More details about this groundbreaking agreement are on my website at

Thank you so much for being part of this historic victory for Michigan . Your voice and those of thousands of other Michigan citizens have made a real difference. As always, whenever I can be of assistance to you or your family, please feel free to contact my office.


Debbie Stabenow

United States Senator
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