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Warren, Town of v. Hazardous Waste Facility Site Safety Council

ELR Citation: 13 ELR 20466
Nos. No. 82-21740, (Mass. Super. Ct., 01/05/1983)

The court rules that the siting preemption is part of a general hazardous waste law that deals comprehensively with a statewide ities. First, the court holds that the council's determination that proposed disposal sites in Warren were "feasible and deserving of state assistance" is not a final administrative decision reviewable by the court. The court dismisses the complaint of intervenors Middlesex County on procedural grounds. The court then holds that the state laws do not unlawfully restrict local self government. The hazardous waste laws apply equally to all cities and towns and so conform to the Massachusetts Home Rule Amendment. Nor do the state hazardous waste disposal laws unlawfully delegate legislative power to private parties or the council. Private parties' only action is to file a notice of intent and the council's powers are administrative, not legislative. The court rules that the council is not required to conduct an adjudicatory hearing or adopt final rules and regulations prior to making a "feasible and deserving of state assistance" determination. The hazardous waste laws contain no adjudicatory requirement, the council's rulemaking powers are discretionary, and plaintiffs have no claim, right, or legitimate expectancy of an entitlement to state funds that deserve constitutional due process protection. The court holds that the bylaws recently adopted by the town, which specifically exclude hazardous waste facilities, are in effect zoning laws.They were adopted after the filing of the notice of intent and clearly conflict with the state's prohibition on exclusionary zoning changes following the filing of a notice of intent. The court also rules that a previous town bylaw prohibiting the deposit of refuse, garbage, or rubbish in the town is preempted with respect to hazardous waste facility siting.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Vincent McCaughey, Town Counsel
11 E. Main St., Warren MA 01083
(413) 436-5792

William W. Hays
Bowditch & Dewey
311 Main St., Worcester MA 01608
(617) 791-3511

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Intervenors
Gregor I. McGregor
27 School St., Boston MA 02108
(617) 227-7289

Counsel for Defendants
Jeffrey Bates
Goodwin, Proctor & Hoar
28 State St., Boston MA 02109
(617) 523-5700

Jo-Ann Shotwell, Ass't Attorney General
One Ashburton Pl., Boston MA 02108
(617) 727-2265

Kenneth Hoffman
Conservation Law Found. of New England
3 Joy St., Boston MA 02108
(617) 742-2540