JWJ Industries v. Oswego County

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Constitutional Law

New York Law Journal

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District Judge Thomas McAvoy

Holbrook owns JWJ Industries. His permit from New York's environment department (DEC) allowed JWJ to operate the only privately owned construction and demolition debris transfer station in Oswego County. A June 2009 TRO enjoined the county's enforcement of a 2008 Flow Control Law against plaintiffs JWJ and Holbrook. The county's 2011 revised flow control law (2011 Law) required that all solid waste generated in the county go to a county-operated transfer station. District court granted plaintiffs summary judgment only to the extent that §2(25) of the 2011 Law was unconstitutionally vague on case-by-case determinations by the "Director" as to what constitute "recyclable materials." It rejected plaintiffs' claim that the 2011 Law was an unconstitutional taking, deprived them of due process, and violated their equal protection rights. In finding no unconstitutional taking the court, discussing Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, found no permanent deprivation of all of the DEC permit's value. The 2011 Law does not bar plaintiffs' handling of out-of-county waste or receipt of source-separated recyclables. Thus the 2011 Law did not deprive them of the DEC permit or the ability to engage in their chosen occupation.

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