OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The back-and-forth continues between Oklahoma and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over disposal of toxic waste from the Ohio train derailment in February.
For weeks, the country has watched as East Palestine, Ohio, dealt with a Norfolk Southern train derailment that turned into an environmental disaster.
The EPA informed Governor Kevin Stitt the Lone Mountain Landfill Facility, located in Waynoka, Oklahoma, would accept some of the waste.
After receiving that letter, Gov. Stitt denied the shipment.
“There are too many unanswered questions and ultimately I made the decision that this is not in the best interest of Oklahomans,” tweeted Stitt.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan said there was no reason for states to block shipments of the type of waste that certified facilities routinely handle every day.
“This is impermissible and this is unacceptable,” he said.
In a letter sent to all states, the EPA said that blocking the shipments would likely violate a federal law dealing with the interstate transport of waste as well as the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which the agency said limits the power of states to stop the movement of hazardous waste.
When asked about the situation Friday, Stitt said his position on the matter hasn’t changed.
“Something feels weird if you’re having to ship that much waste over five states and bypass all the other states,” said Stitt. “…We want to be helpful, but we’re not the dumping ground for other states and so my stance has not changed.”
The EPA and Norfolk Southern could take legal action if certified disposal facilities refuse the waste shipments.
Landfills in Michigan and Indiana have already accepted waste shipments.