New York's Giuliani Talks Trash to Virginia: Tells Gilmore State Can't Refuse Refuse

By Redmon, Jeremy; Dinan, Stephen | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 15, 1999 | Go to article overview

New York's Giuliani Talks Trash to Virginia: Tells Gilmore State Can't Refuse Refuse


Redmon, Jeremy, Dinan, Stephen, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


RICHMOND - Virginia is for trash. Ask Rudy Giuliani.

The New York mayor, riled by Gov. James S. Gilmore III's pledge to ban bargeloads of the Big Apple's trash from dropping their anchors on the James River, said out-of-state tourists mess up the city and have an obligation to accept its refuse.

"People in Virginia like to utilize New York because we're a cultural center. . . . We don't have the room to handle the garbage that's produced not just by New Yorkers."

The mayor said there is little Mr. Gilmore can do to stop the barges once they again start plying Virginia waters with cargoes of trash.

"There's something called the interstate-commerce clause of the Constitution of the United States that puts a certain number of limitations on how much you can restrict commerce and the movement of commerce through your state," Mr. Giuliani said.

Mr. Giuliani's barbed remarks came on the heels of Mr. Gilmore's State of the Commonwealth speech Wednesday, in which he vowed to bar New York from shipping nearly 4,000 tons of trash a day by barge through Virginia.

The city must find ways to get rid of its garbage as the legal deadline for closing its enormous landfill in Fresh Kills by 2001 nears.

New Yorkers know the pain of having their garbage rejected. On March 22, 1987, a bargeload of commercial trash set out from New York for a North Carolina landfill. It was turned away for lack of proper permits.

That started a 6,000-mile trip, on which the cargo met with angry rejections from Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Belize and the Bahamas.

The craft returned to New York fully loaded on Sept. 2.

By truck and barge, Virginia imported an estimated 8,635 tons of out-of-state trash per day in the fall of 1997, the latest figures show - second only to Pennsylvania.

Gilmore spokesman Mark Miner took umbrage at the mayor's public statements, saying it was inappropriate for Mr. Giuliani to suggest that Virginia has an obligation to accept the trash.

"If New York City has a garbage problem, they should work to find new and innovative ways to deal with it," Mr. Miner said.

"The governor is prepared to do everything in his powers to prevent other states from using Virginia as its dumping ground," he said. …

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