by Carol Thompson
A federal judge ruled Friday that Oswego County’s flow-control law, which prohibits trash and debris from the county from going anywhere but a county-owned transfer station, is not unconstitutional.
In a 17-page ruling, Judge Thomas J. McAvoy upheld all but one section of the flow-control law revised and passed in December by the legislature.
The county was brought to court by Jeffrey Holbrook of JWJ Industries in a challenge that has been ongoing for several years. Holbrook once again challenged the constitutionality of the county law.
Holbrook holds a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which allows him to operate a 12-acre transfer station at 436 Co. Rte. 51 in the Town of New Haven, known as the JWJ Transfer Station.
In October 2008, the Oswego County Legislature enacted the Oswego County Recycling & Solid Waste Local Law, which contained a Flow Control Law. Plaintiffs challenged that law, claiming that its enforcement would deprive them of all economically beneficial use of the transfer station permit previously issued by the DEC.
A restraining order was issued against the county and in July 2009, the court lifted it. In a June 13, 2011 decision, the court found that, although the county had the right to enact the Flow Control Law, it is unconstitutionally vague.
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