It's been a couple of weeks since lawyers hired by the city and the National Solid Waste Management Association squared off in U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor's over the flow control ordinance that would have dumped all the city's solid waste at the McCommas Bluff Landfill. I say "would have" because, for now, flow control's not happening: This morning O'Connor ruled in favor of the solid-waste haulers, who've long argued that the city's attempt to fill its coffers using the ordinance is the very definition of "anti-free enterprise."
The city's hoping the ordinance dumps upwards of $18 million in the general fund; council members often mention it when looking ahead to paying for this project or funding that wish-list item. As Mayor Mike Rawlings himself said when the council approved the controversial proposal in late September: "This is a business revenue issue. Who deserves that revenue? Should it be the owners of the landfills outside the city of Dallas or the taxpayers?"
But O'Connor was not moved, writing at the end of his 33-page ruling you'll find below:
Based on the evidence available to the Court at this time, the Court finds that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their Contract Clause claim; that Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable injury if the Flow Control Ordinance is allowed to take effect; that the balance of equities favors Plaintiffs; and that a preliminary injunction is in the public interest.
I've been told a statement is forthcoming from City Hall. I'll update accordingly.
Update at 4:50 p.m.: This just arrived from Dallas City Hall.
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The City of Dallas respectfully disagrees with the judge's decision to grant a preliminary injunction in National Solid Waste Management Association et al. v. City of Dallas, et al., which is sometimes referred to as the "flow control" lawsuit. The City will study the 33-page order and evaluate its options.