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State v. Braun

Citation: 8 ELR 20072
No. Nos. IK-7606-0095, -96-97, 378 A.2d 640/(Del. Super. Ct., 08/01/1977)

Denying defendant's motion to dismiss an indictment charging a violation of the state Water and Air Resources Act, the court upholds the constitutionality of the Act as applied. Defendant's rendering plant was charged with emitting "odorous air contaminants." Defendant's argument that the section of the Act prohibiting "the discharge of any air contaminant" without a permit is so vague that it denies potential violators due process does not persuade the court. Statutes aimed at controlling environmental pollution must, by necessity, be sufficiently flexible to adapt to the continuing variation in environmental conditions and control technology; therefore, they neither deny due process nor exceed constitutional limits on the delegation of legislative powers when they entrust the executive with broad authority and administrative discretioin. Similarly, where the Act proscribes "initiation" of any operanarrowly as to limit its applicability to the previously existing and continuing operations of the defendant. Defendant's contention that under such an interpretation the statute becomes unconstitutionally retroactive is without merit, and the case shall be scheduled for trial.

Counsel for Plaintiff
June D. MacArtor, Deputy Attorney General
Tatnall Bldg., Dover DE 19901
(302) 571-2467

Counsel for Defendant
Roy S. Shiels
Brown, Shiels & Barros
WSFS Bldg., Dover DE 19901
(302) 734-4766