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Khodara Envtl., Inc. v. Blakey

ELR Citation: 34 ELR 20053
Nos. No. 02-4038, (3d Cir., 07/21/2004) reversed

The Third Circuit reversed a lower court decision and granted declaratory judgment for a waste management company stating that the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act does not prohibit the building of a landfill because the company began construction prior to the effective date of the Act. The Wendell Ford Act replaced an earlier FAA act that imposed restrictions on landfills since these sites tend to attract birds that can present a safety problem for aircraft flying at low altitudes. The waste company had Article III standing to challenge the Act, and the issue of whether the landfill falls into the Act's grandfather clause was ripe for review. Relying on an FAA circular, the court interpreted the company's actions of installing monitoring wells as the "commencement" and "establishment" of the landfill facility. Because the company began construction of the landfill within the meaning of the FAA circular prior to the effective date of the Act, the landfill falls within the Act's grandfather clause.