DEQ cannot restrict Green Ridge traffic
Published 6:00 am Wednesday, March 3, 2021
To the Editor:
Documentation that the DEQ relied on to grant approval to the Notice of Intent (NOI) and to the Part A Application submitted on behalf of Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal LLC (Green Ridge) restricts incoming trash truck traffic to between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., bans all importation of trash from the states of New Jersey and New York, restricts trash truck traffic to Route 60 and bans overnight trash truck parking.
Green Ridge as a private enterprise can require these restrictions, but the commerce clause of our U.S. Constitution does not permit the DEQ as a state agency to approve or to enforce these restrictions on interstate commerce under their regulatory authority.
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The commerce clause is a part of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8) that authorizes Congress “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with American Indian tribes.” The commerce clause has traditionally been interpreted as prohibiting state and local laws, regulations and approvals that interfere with or discriminate against interstate commerce. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that trash falls under the commerce clause.
Based on the commerce clause, the DEQ as a state agency has neither the regulatory authority to approve or to enforce these bogus restrictions as permit conditions. Therefore, their approval of the NOI and the Part A permit are invalid. So guess what? The out-of-state and in-state trash trucks will travel to Green Ridge at all times of the day and night, use shortcuts like Genito Road, Dorset Road, Huguenot Trail, Route 522, Route 6 and Route 45 to get there, and park overnight wherever. All the while, New Jersey and New York will happily haul their unwanted filth down I-95, through our communities and into Green Ridge.
Finally, since the host agreement between Green Ridge and Cumberland County bans all importation of trash from the states of New Jersey and New York, restricts trash truck traffic to Route 60 and bans overnight trash truck parking, it too is an invalid document because Cumberland County does not have the authority to interfere with or discriminate against interstate commerce.