Flow Control and Regional Approval Options

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State law appears to grant regions and solid waste authorities powers under certain conditions to direct the flow of solid waste generated within the region and to restrict the flow of solid waste into the region for disposal.  However, federal court decisions, including U.S. Supreme Court rulings, make the validity of Tennessee statutes on flow control very questionable since the case law strongly indicates they may violate the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution where regulatory power is exercised to control the flow of waste between private parties.  Fort Gratiot Sanitary Landfill Inc. v. Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources, 112 S.Ct. 2019 (1992); C & A Carbone, Inc. v. Town of Clarkstown, N.Y., 114 S.Ct. 1677 (1994).

State law also provides that any construction or expansion of solid waste facilities or incinerators within the region must be approved by the board of the region or the (Part 9) solid waste authority if one has been formed before a permit is issued.  The region or solid waste authority is to hold a public hearing after proper notice and may reject the proposal if it is inconsistent with the regional plan.  T.C.A. § 68-211-814.