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Supreme Court Hears 'Flow Control' Case

Date: January 8, 2007

Source: News Room

The Supreme Court heard oral argument in United Haulers Association v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, 05-1345. At issue is whether counties can require private haulers to use publicly owned transfer stations. The outcome of the case could hinge on whether the justices view trash disposal as a government responsibility or a service that could just as well be provided by competing private businesses. A similar case, decided in 1994, ruled that local governments unlawfully restricted interstate commerce by requiring that garbage be sent to a designated transfer facility. In that case, the facility was privately owned. Local governments that have built recycling centers and landfills rely on the fees to help pay off millions of dollars in debt they incurred to build them. Lawyers for the haulers argue that the counties are benefiting at the haulers' expense.

A decision is expected before July.

The case is United Haulers Association v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, 05-1345.

www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/05-1345.htm.

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