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Interstate Commerce Comm'n v. Browning-Ferris Indus.

Citation: 12 ELR 20687
No. No. CV-80-M-1489, 529 F. Supp. 287/(N.D. Ala., 12/12/1981)

The court holds that a transporter of hazardous waste is not required to obtain a license from the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), finding that the ICC has not asserted jurisdiction over hazardous waste transportation. The ICC has jurisdiction over transportation of "property" by motor carriers, but the term "property" was not defined by Congress.The court holds that Commission decisions have not construed the term "property" to include hazardous waste and indicates that any such expansion of its jurisdiction would best be determined in a rulemaking proceeding. The court further holds that a provision of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act increasing penalties for unlicensed transportation of hazardous waste does not extend the ICC's jurisdiction. Accordingly, the court dismisses the ICC's suit to enjoin defendant's hazardous waste transportation without an ICC license.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Daniel S. Linhardt
Office of Consumer Protection
Interstate Commerce Commission, Washington DC 20423
(202) 275-7799

Counsel for Defendant
Edward S. Allen
Balch, Bingham, Baker, Hawthorne, Williams & Ward
P.O. Box 306, Birmingham AL 35201
(205) 251-8100

David A. Sutherlund
Fulbright & Jaworski
1150 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 452-6800