WASHINGTON-The Senate voted 94-6 May 16 to approve an interstate waste bill the rubber industry opposes because it classifies tire-derived fuel as municipal solid waste. ``We believe it's merely an oversight in the Senate bill,'' said Peter J. Pantuso, vice president of public affairs for the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
The House version of the interstate waste bill, which passed the House Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Hazardous Materials May 18, specifically exempts tire-derived fuel from the MSW classification.
To be classified as a municipal solid waste in the interstate waste legislation is to be subject to its ``flow control'' provisions. Those provisions, the centerpiece of the legislation, give states and municipalities the authority to order all those defined as waste disposal customers to use only government-mandated waste management facilities.
The Senate bill defines municipal solid waste ``as any refuse (or refuse-derived fuel) generated by the general public'' from rubber or other materials. To make tire-derived fuel subject to flow control, the rubber industry argues, is to compromise its desirability as a product.
A provision in the House bill, however, exempts ``recyclable materials. . . including scrap rubber to be used as a fuel source.''
``We believe there's a willingness on the part of the Senate to address this issue in conference,'' Mr. Pantuso said.
The full House Commerce Committee should complete action on the flow control bill by the July 4 recess, he added.
Representatives of small business have denounced the entire concept of flow control. ``Flow control ordinances. . . create monopolies under which small-business owners will most likely pay higher costs and receive inferior service,'' said John R. Broadway, Virginia state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, at a March 23 hearing before the House subcommittee.