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Yeutter hears NLC on municipal solid waste.

In a meeting with Clayton Yeutter, counsel to the president for domestic policy, NLC Executive Director Don Borut urged the White House to release a proposed guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would provide favorable settlements for cities and towns that generated or transported municipal solid waste (waste generated primarily by households) to Superfund sites.

Since early March, industry and local governments have been engaged in an intense lobbying effort aimed at the White House over the publication of EPA's proposed Interim Municipal Settlement Policy. The meeting, which was also attended by representatives from the National Association of Counties, the International City Management Association (ICMA), the National Association of Towns and Townships, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National School Boards Association, and American Communities for Cleanup Equity, was requested to urge the White House to release the proposed guidance and to respond to industry claims that the four percent cap was unfair to industry.

The Unit Cost approach outlined in EPA's proposed guidance would cap all transporter/generator liability for Superfund site clean up costs at approximately four percent. EPA would also consider reducing this amount further if a municipal solid waste generator or transporter provides in-kind services or demonstrates an inability to pay.

Emphasizing the unique status of cities involved in Superfund sites, Borut noted that picking up and disposing of municipal solid waste is a basic service that all cities must provide to their citizens. Borut told Yeutter that, "unlike industry, cities have to stay in business, balance their budgets each year and, in addition to the many other services they provide, pick up and dispose of trash. Services to our citizens are dependent upon what we can afford. If we cannot afford a service, we have no choice but to raise taxes."

Nothing the displeasure of the private sector over the proposed guidance, Yeutter expressed concern that if the four percent cap were to be implemented, local governments would have no incentive to participate in Superfund reauthorization. William Hansell, executive director of ICMA, reminded Yeutter that there were many municipal owners and operators who would receive no relief from the proposed guidance and that local governments intend to participate in the reauthorization process.

When asked if the proposed guidance would be published, Yeutter responded that it was not "off the radar screen" and that the fate of the guidance would be determined "relatively soon." He said that EPA is currently reviewing the proposed guidance as well as exploring other options.
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Title Annotation:Clayton Yeutter; National League of Cities
Author:Yamane, Sandra
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:May 11, 1992
Words:417
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