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Browning-Ferris, Inc. v. Anne Arundel County

Citation: 12 ELR 20264
No. No. 151, 438 A.2d 269/16 ERC 1863/(Md., 12/15/1981)

The Maryland Court of Appeals upholds in part and invalidates in part two ordinances regulating the transportation and disposal of hazardous wastes within Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Appellant, a licensed landfill owner and operator and hazardous wastes hauler, filed a petition for declaratory and injunctive relief after being informed by the State that it was required to comply with the county ordinances. The court rules that the provision prohibiting the transportation through and disposal in the county of hazardous wastes originating from outside the county violates the Commerce Clause since it impermissibly discriminates against articles in interstate commerce. Turning to the provisions that establish licensing and manifest requirements for all hazardous wastes transported through the county, the court rules that, although they do not discriminate against articles in interstate commerce, they are unconstitutional because they impose direct and substantial burdens upon such commerce which are greater than necessary to carry out the local interests served by the rules. However, the court upholds the license and manifest requirements, as they apply to the disposal of hazardous wastes in the county since they do not place an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce and are not preempted by federal or state law. Finally, the court rules that appellant is without standing to challenge the provisions regulating the transportation and disposal of radioactive wastes since it neither transports through nor disposes in the county any radioactive materials covered by the ordinances.

Counsel for Appellant
Thomas M. Downs
Blumenthal, May, Downs & Merrill
P.O. Box 868, Annapolis MD 21404
(301) 268-7707

Counsel for Appellee
Thomas G. Redman, Ass't Cry. Solicitor
Office of Law, Arundel Center, Annapolis MD 21401
(301) 224-1316

Eldridge, J. joined by Smith, Digges, Cole, Davidson, and Rodowsky, JJ.