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Hackensack Meadowlands Comm'n v. Municipal Sanitary Landfill Auth.

Citation: 6 ELR 20356
No. No. A-82, 348 A.2d 505/8 ERC 1433/68 N.J. 451, (N.J., 11/18/1975)

New Jersey's Waste Control Act, which prohibits disposal within the state of waste that originated or was collected outside the state's territorial limits, does not violate the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. Despite decisions holding that commodities injurious to the public health are not articles of commerce, some types of recyclable wastes have commercial value. Furthermore, the service of transporting solid waste constitutes interstate commerce. In light of the express federal intention not to preempt the area of solid waste control, regulation of solid waste disposal in order to protect shrinking wetlands is a legitimate exercise of the state police power. The slight burden imposed on interstate commerce by the waste importation ban is more than outweighed by the environmental benefits accruing to the state. Since the prohibition extends to resident as well as foreign waste collectors, it does not create parochial economic discrimination. The quasi-sovereign power of a state to protect its natural resources, which is recognized in federal courts, is equally available through protective legislation.

Counsel for Hackensack Meadowlands Dev. Comm'n and New Jersey
William F. Hyland, Attorney General
Stephen Skillman, Ass't Attorney General
Mark L. First, Deputy Attorney General
State House Annex
Trenton NJ 08625
(609) 292-4925

Counsel for Municipal Sanitary Landfill Authority
Lieb, Wolfe & Sampson
10 Commerce Ct.
Newark NJ 07102
(201) 621-6954

Counsel for City of Philadelphia
Herbert F. Moore
Arthur Meisel
Jamieson, Walsh, McCardell, Moore & Peskin
1 West State Street
Trenton MJ 08608
(609) 396-5511

Counsel for John P. Fazzio Landfill, Inc.
Vincent J. Dotoli
South Plainfield NJ
(201) 561-5500

For affirmance in both cases: Chief Justice HUGHES, Justices MOUNTAIN, SULLIVAN, PASHMAN and CLIFFORD and Judge COLLESTER — 6.

For reversal: None.