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Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Dallas Flow Control Law

Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Dallas Flow Control Law

Dallas’ flow control law has been blocked.

A U.S. District Court judge has granted the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) request for a preliminary injunction, stopping the city’s law from taking effect.

The court issued a decision based on the argument that because of the franchise agreements Dallas had with haulers the law violated the contract clause of the U.S. Constitution, says David Biderman, general counsel for the NSWMA, in an interview after the ruling.

He says the judge will schedule an expedited trial on the other claims in the NSWMA lawsuit, and he expects that to take place soon.

Judge Reed O'Connor said that the flow control law "will impact the franchisees' disposal business in a substantial way," with the loss of landfill revenue along with 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 that the "plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their contract clause claim."

“We’re pleased with the outcome, and look forward to the opportunity to present other additional evidence to the judge in the case,” Biderman says.

Dallas City Attorney Tom Perkins said in an e-mail, "The city of Dallas respectfully disagrees with the judge's decision ... The city will study the 33-page order and evaluate its options."

Dallas passed a law Sept. 28 directing city waste to go to the city’s McCommas Bluff landfill. NSWMA and several other parties filed a suit to stop the law, saying it is anti-free enterprise and would discourage recycling.

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