NSWMA, Dallas Settle Flow Control Lawsuit
Settlement allows court ruling to stand; collection companies may dispose of
waste where it makes the most economic sense, not at government-mandated
WASHINGTON, May 8, 2013
WASHINGTON, May 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Several waste haulers and
the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) have announced that
they will settle a longstanding waste flow control lawsuit against the City of
Dallas that dates to 2011.
The settlement, which was approved this week by Federal District Court Judge
Reed O'Connor, means these haulers can dispose of the waste they collect in
Dallas at a location of their choosing, including their own facilities located
The city passed an ordinance in September 2011 mandating that all waste
collected inside its borders go to the city's McCommas Bluff Landfill. NSWMA,
joined by several other parties, filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the
ordinance, saying it violated federal and state constitutional principles and
The settlement makes permanent an October 2012 injunction issued by Judge
O'Connor barring enforcement of the ordinance. That ruling stated that the
city's actions violated the Contract Clause of the U.S. Constitution as well
as Texas state law and the Dallas city charter. The court determined that the
city enacted the law for economic gain "at the expense of the franchisees'
rights and that was an unreasonable exercise of its police powers."
"We are so happy we're able to put this episode behind us," said Tom Brown,
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Progressive Waste
Solutions in Fort Worth and chair of NSWMA's Texas Chapter. "This settlement
preserves competition for waste disposal and recycling services in Dallas.
City businesses and residents will be the beneficiaries of this agreement as
it assures a competitive marketplace."
As part of the settlement, it was agreed that no flow control law would be
applicable to the parties to the lawsuit until 2029.
"We are glad it's over, but disappointed that Dallas taxpayers had to foot the
bill for defending this terrible ordinance," said Sharon H. Kneiss, President
and Chief Executive Officer of the Environmental Industry Associations (EIA),
the parent association of NSWMA. "Cities, counties and states should be on
notice that we will not stand idly by and let local governments establish
waste disposal monopolies. It's not just bad for our industry, it's bad for
the consumer and the taxpayer, as well. Let the market determine the most
economical and environmentally sound waste management solutions. The answer is
not a government monopoly."
The parties to the settlement include NSWMA; Bluebonnet Waste Control, Inc.;
IESI Corp.; Republic Services, Inc.; Waste Management, Inc.; Businesses
Against Flow Control; and the City of Dallas.
The Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) is the trade association that
represents the private sector solid waste and recycling services industry
through its two sub-associations, the National Solid Wastes Management
Association (NSWMA) and the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC).
NSWMA and WASTEC members conduct business in all 50 states and include
companies that collect and manage garbage, recycling and medical waste;
equipment manufacturers and distributors; and a variety of other service
providers. For more information about how innovation in the environmental
services industry is helping to solve today's environmental challenges, visit
SOURCE National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA)
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