United States             Solid Waste and
                     Environmental Protection      Emergency Response          EPA530-F-95-008
                     Agency                (5305)                   March 1995

                     Office of Solid Waste
x/EPA         Environmental
                     Fact  Sheet
                     Report to Congress on Flow Control
                     And Municipal Solid Waste


       Background
          Flow controls are legal provisions that allow state and local
       governments to designate the places where municipal solid waste
       (MSW) is taken for processing, treatment, or disposal. Because of flow
       controls, designated facilities may hold monopolies on local MSW and/
       or recoverable materials. Consequently, flow control has become a
       heavily debated issue among state and local governments, the waste
       management and recycling industries, and environmental groups.
          In  1992, Congress directed the Environmental Protection Agency
       (EPA)  to review flow control as it pertains to municipal solid waste
       management. Specifically, Congress directed EPA to:
             Review and compare states with and without flow control
             authority;
             Identify the impact of flow controls on human health and the
             environment; and
             Describe the impacts of flow control on the development of state
             and local waste management capacity, and on the achievement of
             state and local goals set for source reduction, reuse, and
             recycling.

       Action
          EPA's Report to Congress on Flow Control and Municipal Solid Waste
       indicates that flow controls are an administratively efficient tool for
       local governments to plan and fund solid waste management systems.
       However, protection of human health and the environment is directly
       related to the implementation and enforcement of federal, state, and
       local environmental regulations rather than to the existence of flow
       control measures. Data also indicate that flow control is not essential
       for developing MSW management capacity, or for achieving recycling
       goals.

          The Agency examined flow control nation-wide, finding that 35
       states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands authorize flow

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control directly. Four additional states authorize flow control through
mechanisms such as solid waste management plans and home rule
authority. Eleven states have no flow control authority. It is important
to recognize that the Report presents a national perspective on flow
control, and that the needs and objectives of state and local jurisdic-
tions may differ significantly from a national viewpoint. Factors such as
local waste generation rates, financial and market conditions,
demographics, and the local economy affect the planning and
implementation of local solid waste management systems.

More Information
   The Executive Summary, the full Report, and this fact sheet are
available in electronic format on the Internet System through the EPA
Public Access Server at gopher.epa.gov. From the main menu, choose:
EPA Offices and Regions: then, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency
Response (OSWER); finally, Office of Solid Waste/ Nonhazardous
Waste/Municipal Solid Waste/General

   Additional information or free paper copies of the Executive
Summary (EPA530-S-95-008) may be obtained from the RCRA Hotline
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST. The national, toll-free
number is (800) 424-9346; TDD (800) 553-7672 (hearing impaired).
Paper copies of the full Report (EPA530-R-95-008) are available for a
fee from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at 1-703-
487-4650.

   Copies of documents applicable to this Report may be obtained by
writing: RCRA Information Center (RIC), U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, Office of Solid Waste (5305), 401 M Street SW, Washington,
D.C. 20460.

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