1983 Scorecard Vote
The vote is on the Levitas (D-GA) Amendment to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) reauthorization bill (HR 2867), to require approval by Congress and the President before major EPA rules affecting "small" generators of hazardous wastes can take effect. Millions of pounds of toxic wastes are disposed of every day in America, creating a terrible hazard to human health and to the environment. Most of these wastes are disposed of carelessly or unsafely. RCRA is the nation's principal law controlling the disposal of toxic wastes, and was designed to avoid the creation of additional toxic dumps like Love Canal. In 1983, the House of Representatives amended RCRA to close major loopholes in the law, including one which allowed so-called "small" generators, who are responsible for 8% of the toxic waste produced in this country, to avoid entirely federal standards for the safe disposal of these deadly wastes.
The environmental community strongly opposed the Levitas Amendment, saying it was a back-door effort to keep EPA from doing its job. The Levitas Amendment would have politicized hazardous waste control efforts by giving polluters a new opportunity to delay and avoid regulation. Because the Levitas Amendment provided no time limits for Congressional review of EPA rules, foes could easily have bottled up needed regulations indefinitely.
Levitas Amendment rejected 189-204; November 3, 1983. NO is the pro-environmental vote. (Changes in RCRA were not considered in the Senate in 1983, but may come up in 1984.)