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Tennsv, Inc. v. Gade

ELR Citation: 24 ELR 20019
Nos. Nos. 92-503 WLB, -522 WLB, (S.D. Ill., 07/08/1993)

The court holds that provisions of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act (IEPA) that restrict the location of waste treatment, landfill, and incinerator facilities serving areas beyond the borders of a local government unit are unconstitutional burdens on interstate commerce in violation of the Commerce Clause. Transporters of out-of-state waste argued that the IEPA requirements discriminated between facilities that accept only in-state waste, and those that accept out-of-state waste. Although the court agrees that the state's concerns for public health and safety are valid factors unrelated to economic protectionism, the state has failed to show that this purpose cannot be furthered through a nondiscriminatory alternative; no proof was offered that out-of-state waste poses health risks any different from locally generated waste. Moreover, the discriminatory effect on interstate commerce is not ameliorated by the fact that the IEPA regulations appear to affect only intrastate commerce. The court also holds that a provision of the IEPA requiring all persons to dispose of waste at sites or facilities that meet the Act's requirements applies to facilities without geographical distinction and therefore does not independently violate the Commerce Clause. The court further holds that Illinois' regulation of municipal solid waste handling and disposal through the IEPA is not preempted by federal law, because plaintiffs have failed to establish that the Staggers Rail Act, Department of Transportation regulations, and Interstate Commerce Commission regulations explicitly or implicitly occupy the entire field, or that the IEPA conflicts with these federal authorities.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Jeffrey Hebrank
103 N. Main St., P.O. Box 510, Edwardsville IL 62025
(618) 656-0184

Counsel for Defendants
Thomas Davis, Ass't Attorney General
Attorney General's Office
500 S. Second St., Springfield IL 62206
(217) 524-7506