Dallas Files Argument in Court for Flow Control Law

Dallas Files Argument in Court for Flow Control Law

The city of Dallas has filed in U.S. District Court its opposition argument to a potential permanent injunction against its waste flow control law.

In a 59-page filing with the court, Dallas City Attorney Thomas Perkins Jr. said the plaintiffs, led by the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), ignore the public health concerns in the ordinance and do not have the rights they assert from the city’s contract clause. The clause does specify the risk of regulatory change for haulers, and the city’s franchises apply only to conduct within the city. Dallas also asserts that the haulers lack standing to benefit from the clause.

In late January Judge Reed O’Connor granted the request by the NSWMA and several private haulers for a preliminary injunction against the law, which Dallas passed in late September to direct all the city’s waste to its McCommas Bluff landfill.

The city appealed the decision at the end of February.

Judge O'Connor said in granting the injunction that the flow control law would substantially hurt the disposal business of the city’s franchised haulers with the loss of landfill revenue, and the higher transportation costs and tipping fees. He also concluded the city enacted the law to raise revenue.

Based on the evidence, O'Connor said in the opinion the "plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their contract clause claim."

NSWMA and several other parties filed suit to block the law after Dallas passed it, saying it is anti-free enterprise and would discourage recycling.


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