Congressional aides said prospects remain strong that Congress will enact legislation that would allow governors to restrict importation of solid waste generated in other states.
The Senate cleared the measure July 23 after days of wrangling, and there currently is no companion measure in the House. But aides familiar with the issue said negotiations are underway to get the matter resolved before Congress adjourns this fall.
"When [lawmakers] come back in September, I think it will be all worked out," said an aide to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., a co-sponsor of the interstate waste bill.
If enacted, and if governors choose to exercise the powers the bill would grant, many localities will need to find new dumping grounds. That need could spur the issuance of tax-exempt bonds to finance new landfill facilities.
Provisions similar to the Senate bill are contained in separate House and Senate bills to reauthorize the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976. But those bills are mired in election-year politics, prompting Sen. Baucus and Sen. Daniel R. Coasts, R-Ind., to offer the interstate trash bill as stand-alone legislation.