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Chester, Township of v. Department of Envtl. Protection

Citation: 12 ELR 20580
No. No. A-3402-79-T1, 438 A.2d 334/181 N.J. Super. 445, (N.J. Super. Ct., 10/26/1981)

The court rules that the Solid Waste Management Act preempts local regulation of a solid waste disposal facility. The legislative history emphasizes the need for uniform statewide regulation and establishes a comprehensive regulatory scheme. The township ordinance, which seeks to regulate the environmental impact of sanitary landfill construction, duplicates similar state regulations and thus would conflict with the purposes of the Act. In addition, the repeal of a statute permitting local boards to enact more stringent environmental regulations than the Act indicates the legislative intent that the state law is exclusive. The court notes that the Act requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to consider local interests, and in this case DEP conditioned final approval of the disputed site on compliance with terms requested by the township. Finally, the court rules that DEP's decision to grant approval to construct a new access road to the landfill was neither arbitrary nor capricious since it was supported by substantial evidence.

Counsel for Appellant
Phillip E. Guidone
Beck, Reichstein & Guidone
26 Orange Rd., Montclair NJ 07042
(201) 744-9120

Counsel for Respondents
James R. Zazzali, Attorney General; Dennis J. Krumholz, Erminie L. Conley
Dep't of Law & Public Safety
State House Annex, 2d Floor, Trenton NJ 08625
(609) 292-4925

Kevin J. Coakley, Robert J. Kelly
Conell, Foley & Geiser
Gateway I, Newark NJ 07102
(201) 643-2060

Before Judges FRITZ, ARD and TRAUTWEIN.