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National Solid Waste Management Ass'n v. Williams

Citation: 28 ELR 21323
No. 97-2987, 146 F.3d 595/46 ERC 2083/(8th Cir., 06/12/1998)

The court holds that a Minnesota statute requiring public entities to comply with county waste management plans does not violate the federal Commerce Clause. The court first holds that the appellant waste contractors' association does not have standing to challenge one of the waste disposal statutes. The association's members are not public entities under the terms of the statute, as they are under the terms of the other challenged statute. In addition, the association is not arguing on behalf of a public entity. Therefore, the statute imposes no obligations on the association's members and cannot cause any injury-in-fact. The court then holds that the statute requiring public entities to comply with county waste management plans does not violate the federal Commerce Clause. In this case, the state is performing as a market participant in directing the purchasing behavior of local government units. All of the public entities covered by the statute are creations of the state and derive their power solely from the state. Thus, the public entities should not be considered independent from the state when they contract for waste removal. Because the state's actions under the statute are as part of its role as a purchaser of waste disposal services, it is a mere market participant, and the Commerce Clause does not apply.

[A prior decision in this litigation is published at 27 ELR 21381. A decision related to this litigation is published at 26 ELR 20484.]

Counsel for Appellant
Jack Y. Perry
Briggs & Morgan
2400 IDS Ctr.
80 S. 8th St., Minneapolis MN 55402
(612) 330-9783/334-8400

Counsel for Appellees
Beverly Coernerton, Ass't Attorney General
Attorney General's Office
102 State Capitol, St. Paul MN 55155
(612) 296-6196

Before Heaney and Kopf,1 JJ.