of Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker, Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) Secretary David E. Hess Sept. 13 placed the first
waste hauler authorization stickers on Lancaster County Solid
Waste Authority trash trucks as part of a new state law.
allow the state to track waste-haulers to see if they are abiding
by the safety and environmental regulations. This tracking system
helps the state implement its new Waste Transportation Safety
Act (Act 90), which says waste-haulers who don't follow the rules
will not be allowed to use the state landfills.
we could only issue tickets to the driver and a summary offense
to the waste hauling company," Hess said. "Now, a second
violation could lead to a $25,000 fine, and the company may not
be allowed to haul waste in the state."
Act 90 of
2002 was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by
Gov. Schweiker June 29. The act requires all municipal and residual
waste-haulers using waste disposal and processing facilities in
Pennsylvania to obtain authorization to use those facilities from
DEP by Dec. 27.
the new legislation became obvious after DEP, PENNDOT and the
State Police completed "Operation Clean Sweep," a series
of surprise trash-truck inspections at every landfill and major
incinerator in the state for eight straight days during May 2001.
Clean Sweep" identified hundreds of unsafe trash trucks -
86 percent of the trash trucks had safety violations, and more
than one-third of the trucks were removed from service as unsafe
vehicles. During the operation, more than 40,000 trucks were inspected,
resulting in more than 11,000 safety and environmental violations
County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) has the first
written authorization issued in the commonwealth. The authority
operates its own fleet of waste-hauling vehicles, including 12
trucks, 20 truck tractors and 64 trailers.
County established a collection and transportation program for
their facilities in 1973. The program requires all commercial
waste-haulers to obtain a license for each of their vehicles,
roll-off containers and trailers.
to the Authority's fleet, there are about 70 companies in Lancaster
County that haul residential and commercial waste. Another 400
haulers are licensed to haul their own waste to Authority facilities.
Act 90 also
has many components to help protect citizens and the environment
in Pennsylvania. The provisions include:
1 -- Requiring owners of waste transportation vehicles (trucks
registered for more than 17,000 pounds and trailers registered
for more than 10,000 pounds) that regularly transport municipal
or residual waste to a processing or disposal facility in the
commonwealth to obtain written authorization from DEP by Dec.
2 -- Providing DEP with the authority to deny or revoke transporter
authorizations, establishes fees and prohibits counties or municipalities
from establishing new transporter authorizations or licensing
programs after Aug. 29;
3 -- Permitting all existing county or municipal transportation
or licensing programs in place prior to Aug. 29 to be implemented
at the county or municipality's discretion.
The Waste Transportation Safety Program includes a two-part process.
First, current owners of waste transportation vehicles must submit
an application, within 120 days after Aug. 29, on a DEP form for
an interim authorization.
must include a copy of the state registration for each vehicle,
evidence of current inspection, current certificate of insurance
and a fee of $100 per truck and/or $50 each per truck/trailer
60 days of receipt of the fee and complete documentation, the
department will either issue interim written authorization, along
with a sticker showing the authorization number or deny authorization.
are valid until final authorizations are issued or denied. After
notification from the department, the transporter shall submit
documentation of compliance history. Upon evaluation of the compliance
history, the department will either issue final written authorization,
along with a sticker showing the authorization number, or deny
day an application can be submitted is Dec. 27. However, it is
unlawful for a transporter to operate without an authorization
anytime after Dec. 26.
Once an application
is submitted, DEP has 60 days to issue or deny an authorization.
Therefore, any transporter that submits an application after Oct.
27 runs the risk that it will not receive an authorization by
any transporter that submits an application after Oct. 27 runs
the risk that its waste will be not accepted at a municipal or
residual waste processing or disposal facility in Pennsylvania
after Dec. 26 because it may not have received the required authorization
The act also
provides for criminal penalties, civil penalties, enforcement
orders, injunctions, forfeiture of waste transportation vehicles
and a restricted account for all fees, fines and penalties paid.
For more information
on Act 90 or other waste truck regulations, visit the PA PowerPort
at www.state.pa.us, or call