HTML _ 98-638 - Waste Trade and the Basel Convention: Background and Update
30-Dec-1998; Mary Tiemann; 6 p.

Abstract: The United States played a major role in developing the 1989 United Nations-sponsored Basel Convention on the Control of the Transboundry Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, a key purpose of which is to protect countries from receiving unwanted shipments of wastes. The Convention entered into force in 1992, and by mid-1998, 121 countries (but not the United States) had ratified it. In 1991, the Bush Administration transmitted the Convention to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification aid offered implementing legislation. The Senate consented to ratification in 1992; however, implementing legislation has not been enacted. (Although existing U.S. law regulates hazardous waste, exports, it covers fewer wastes and imposes fewer controls than does the Basel Convention.) In 1995, Basel Parties adopted an amendment to ban the export of hazardous wastes from highly industrialized countries to all other countries. The pending ban, in combination with the uncertainty about which recyclable wastes would be covered by it, caused U.S. interest in Basel ratification to decline. In February 1998, however, Basel Parties resolved the issue of which recyclable wastes are exempt from the Convention. Consequently, Congressional committees in the 105th Congress again expressed interested in taking up implementing legislation, but waited to hear the Administration's views on implementation. The Administration has stated that it will provide a legislative proposal during the first session of the 106th Congress. This report will be updated to reflect developments. [read report]

Topics: Waste Management

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