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Procter & Gamble Co. v. Chicago, City of

Citation: 5 ELR 20146
No. No. 73-1650, 509 F.2d 69/7 ERC 1328/(7th Cir., 01/15/1975)

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a lower court ruling and holds constitutional an ordinance of the City of Chicago which bans the use of detergents containing phosphates. The court finds that the ordinance only slightly burdens interstate commerce, and that the prevention and elimination of nuisance algae in the Illinois Waterway and Lake Michigan is an environmental objective toward which local legislation may properly be aimed. Under these circumstances, the ordinance must be upheld unless the plaintiffs can present clear and convincing proof that it is not a reasonable means of achieving this objective. The court holds that plaintiffs have failed to meet this burden, and thus the presumption of validity which must be afforded the city council's judgment in enacting the ordinance has not been overcome. The court suggests, without so holding, that the hortatory aspect of the ordinance, that is, the encouragement it provides neighboring cities to adopt similar measures, might serve as an independent justification for the slight burden imposed on interstate commerce.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellees
James E. Hastings
Chadwell, Kayser, Ruggles, McGee, Hastings & McKinney
135 South La Salle Street
Chicago, Ill. 60603

Alan S. Ward
Frost & Towers
Southern Building
Washington, D.C. 20005

Allan J. Topol
Covington & Burling
888 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006

Counsel for Defendant-Appellant
Richard L. Curry Corp. Counsel
Edmund Hatfield Asst. Corp. Counsel
Chicago Civic Center
50 W. Washington St.
Chicago, Ill. 60602