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Browning-Ferris Indus. of Ala., Inc. v. Pegues

Citation: 19 ELR 21044
No. No. 85-H-228-N, 710 F. Supp. 313/30 ERC 1166/(M.D. Ala., 08/04/1987) On remand

The court holds that a provision of an Alabama law requiring legislative approval prior to the establishment of hazardous waste treatment and disposal facilities is unconstitutional. The provision provides no guidelines for approval of a facility and is impermissibly vague in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. The court also holds that the statute's exemption of industries that treat, store, or dispose their own hazardous wastes on site does not violate the Equal Protection Clause. The difference in the volume of wastes handled by on-site versus off-site facilities was adequate justification for the legislative distinction made and was not a wholly arbitrary act. Finally, the court holds that the distinction between on-site and off-site facilities does not violate the Commerce Clause by discriminating against out-of-state businesses, since both in-state and out-of-state businesses are prevented from storing toxic waste in off-site facilities.

[An earlier decision is published at 17 ELR 20088.]

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Walter R. Byars
Steiner, Crum & Baker
8th & 10th Fls., First Alabama Bank Bldg., P.O. Box 668, Montgomery AL 36101-0668
(205) 832-8800

Counsel for Defendants
David A. Ludder
Alabama Department of Environmental Management
1751 Federal Dr., Montgomery AL 36130
(205) 271-7700

Robert A. Huffaker
Rushton, Stakely, Johnston & Garrett
184 Commerce St., P.O. Box 270, Montgomery AL 36195
(205) 834-8480