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Court Issues Permanent Injunction against Dallas Flow Control Law

Date: October 16, 2012

Source: News Room, NSWMA, US District Court

A federal court has granted a permanent injunction against the City of Dallas' flow control law. It would have dictated that all waste collected in the city be brought to the city's landfill. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Dallas granted the injunction as requested by the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and several haulers who argued that the law violated their existing 20-year franchise contracts with the city, reached in 2007. As such, it violated the Contract Clause of the U.S. Constitution as well as Texas state law and the Dallas city charter, they argued. The court determined that the city enacted the law for economic gain "at the expense of the franchisees' rights. This is an unreasonable exercise of its police powers," the court said in its ruling.

See also: "Judge Issues Injunction against Dallas Flow Control Law," (www.wasteinfo.com/news/wbj20120201A.htm), January 31, 2012.


PRESS RELEASE
October 16, 2012

U.S. Court Issued Permanent Injunction in Dallas Flow Control Suit

  • NSWMA Is Gratified by Decision, Says It Promotes Free Enterprise

The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) stated that it was gratified today with the U.S. District Court decision, issuing a permanent injunction in the waste flow control suit in Dallas, Texas. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Dallas granted the injunction request by NSWMA and several haulers.

The ruling stated that the city's actions violated the Contract Clause of the U.S. Constitution as well as Texas state law and the Dallas city charter. The court determined that the city enacted the law for economic gain "at the expense of the franchisees' rights and that was an unreasonable exercise of its police powers."

NSWMA's President and CEO Sharon H. Kneiss commented about the case, "NSWMA is very gratified by the District Court's decision in this case. Our efforts - especially those of NSWMA's Texas Chapter - demonstrate NSWMA will not hesitate to protect the rights of its members and our industry and promote free enterprise."

Tom Brown, who is chair of NSWMA's Texas Chapter and Senior Vice President & COO at IESI/Progressive Waste Solutions, added about the decision, "We expect this decision to not only be upheld if an appeal is filed, but also to deter other local governments from unlawfully implementing flow control laws."

The City of Dallas passed a law in September 2011, directing city waste to go to the city's McCommas Bluff landfill. NSWMA joined several other parties in filing a suit to stop the law, saying that the law was anti-free enterprise and would discourage recycling. In January, the court had issued a preliminary injunction against the September 2011 law. The City of Dallas now has a month to appeal the decision.

For more information, contact:
Thom Metzger, 202-364-3751 or tmetzger@envasns.org.

NSWMA - a sub-association of the Environmental Industry Associations - represents for-profit companies in North America that provide solid waste collection, recycling and disposal services, healthcare waste management, or provide professional and consulting services to the waste services industry. NSWMA members conduct business in all 50 states.

For more information about how innovation in the recycling and waste services industry is helping to solve today's environmental challenges, visit environmentalistseveryday.org/environmentalists.

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