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Tri-State Rubbish, Inc. v. Gray, Town of

ELR Citation: 24 ELR 20018
Nos. No. Cum-93-45, 632 A.2d 134/38 ERC 1149/(Me., 10/15/1993)

The court holds that genuine issues of material fact remain about whether a flow control and recycling ordinance violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and remands the action. A local ordinance requires that all solid waste generated in the town be disposed of at a specific regional facility. The court first holds that a hauler of solid waste that did not engage in the interstate commerce of the waste has standing to challenge the ordinance on Commerce Clause grounds. As a hauler of solid waste, it falls within the zone of interests protected by the Commerce Clause. The court holds that the ordinance is not per se invalid, because it does not facially discriminate against out-of-state interests. Nonetheless, although the ordinance apparently pursues the legitimate goals of controlling the waste stream and promoting recycling and energy recovery, it effectively discriminates against interstate commerce by prohibiting waste from crossing the Maine state line. Therefore, the court remands the action with instructions that defendants demonstrate valid reasons to uphold the ordinance and that reasonable alternatives are not available.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Ralph Dyer, Ass't Attorney General
Attorney General's Office
477 Congress St., Ste. 702, Portland ME 04101
(207) 773-6489

Counsel for Defendant
James Katsiaficas
Jensen, Beard, Gardner & Henry
P.O. Box 4510, Portland ME 04112
(207) 775-7271