West Group Law Attorneys Successfully Defend Challenge to Flow Control Law

Attorneys at West Group Law advised on one of the most significant decisions on flow control since the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision in United Haulers Ass’n v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, 550 U.S. 330 (2007). In C&A Carbone et al. v County of Rockland et al. 08-cv-06459, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected a challenge to our New York client’s Flow Control Law, which requires that all commercial and residential yard waste, solid waste, construction and demolition debris, scrap metals, and recyclables generated within the client’s borders be delivered to a designated facility owned by the client’s solid waste management authority.

The plaintiffs in the case included a national trade group in the solid waste industry and a local private waste hauling and processing company. They alleged that the Flow Control Law discriminated against interstate commerce in large part because the law directed waste to designated facilities that the solid waste management authority operated via contracts with private entities, which the plaintiffs alleged did not fall within the ambit of United Haulers. In ruling on cross-motions for summary judgment, the court held that “flow control enabled more efficient and more effective enforcement of waste management laws” and that “the [Flow Control Law] did not discriminate against interstate commerce.” The court held that “public ownership alone suffices” to pass constitutional muster.