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Indiana University professor explains how EPA shipped waste from Ohio to Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A professor at Indiana University is offering insight into why the EPA wanted the waste shipped away from Ohio.

Marc Lame teaches at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He points to the ‘Interstate Commerce Clause’, which he says allows companies to take hazardous waste to other states without the state’s consent. Then he added, that’s when things can get dangerous.

Lame says shipping waste is often seen as nothing more than a business transaction, so states and communities are not informed when hazardous waste is brought in. He says there is little danger in the short term if facilities like the Russellville landfill work correctly and meet federal standards. 

However, he warns that science changes over time, and it is difficult to predict how the environment may change in the coming decades.

“We don’t know for the long term. We have tried to do this for several decades. Based on the facilities, we can say they don’t leak if they were created a certain way. But, for real sustainability for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, we are not sure if that is something we have to maintain,” said Lame.

Lame stressed the importance of checking the certifications for facilities that accept hazardous waste to ensure they are being monitored and operating under their permit. He also believes states must provide their environmental agencies with the necessary resources to keep dangerous waste facilities operating correctly.