South Carolina has banned Utah, 32 other states and Puerto Rico from shipping hazardous wastes to a toxic repository there called GSX.
Utah officials said the only reason Utah appears on the South Carolina list is because Utah has not yet responded to a request from South Carolina that Utah send it a list of hazardous materials banned from disposal in Utah. Gov. Carroll Campbell has ordered that South Carolina prohibit the disposal of waste from any state that refused to dispose of the waste itself."We hope our actions will encourage other states to move toward developing their own hazardous-waste management programs," said Hartsill Truesdale, head of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's hazardous-waste division.
The ban also affects Idaho and such heavy landfill users as Florida and North Carolina.
"It was both the failure of other states to aggressively address their waste disposal problems and the growing imbalance in waste disposal that prompted Governor Campbell to issue this executive order," Truesdale said.
Wendy Olson, community relations coordinator for the Utah Bureau of Solid and Hazardous Waste, said Wednesday that Utah is still in the process of drafting a reply to South Carolina and until the letter is sent, Utah will probably appear on the list.
She said Utah does not ban any hazardous substance from disposal, but an individual disposal site may have its own stipulations as to what substances it will accept. "There is no hazardous-waste incinerator in Utah and the only hazardous-waste disposal site Utah has is USPCI in Tooele."
Some Utah firms may ship hazardous materials to South Carolina, she said, "but right now we don't have an up-to-date list of all the firms in Utah that generate hazardous materials or what they do with them."
She said all Utah firms that generate hazardous materials and that ship such materials anywhere in Utah or out of the state are required, every other year, to submit a report of their activities.
"We have compiled information from reports submitted in 1985, but we have not yet compiled the reports from 1987," she said. "We expect to finish reviewing the 1987 reports this year.
"All hazardous waste comes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, a federal law, and hazardous and solid waste amendments to the law enacted in 1984. Our bureau oversees the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act."
In addition to Utah, Puerto Rico, Florida and North Carolina, the following states are affected by the ban: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.