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MUNICIPALITY MONROEVILLE v. CHAMBERS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (04/18/85)

decided: April 18, 1985.

MUNICIPALITY OF MONROEVILLE, APPELLANT
v.
CHAMBERS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, A CORPORATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Chambers Development Company, Inc., a corporation v. Municipality of Monroeville, No. GD 83-13521.

COUNSEL

Gary F. Zolyak, with him, John D. Finnegan, Municipal Attorney, for appellant.

John H. Bingler, Jr., with him, Kevin C. Abbott, Thorp, Reed & Armstrong, for appellee.

Judges Craig and Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig. Senior Judge Kalish dissents.

Author: Craig

[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 604]

The Municipality of Monroeville appeals from a decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, which permanently enjoined Monroeville's enforcement of its ordinance regulating the days and hours of operation for sanitary landfills. The sole issue for our determination is whether the trial court properly concluded that, through the Solid Waste Management Act,*fn1 the state had preempted the regulation of landfill operations.

The facts, which are not in dispute, indicate that Chambers Development Company operates the only landfill within Monroeville. The landfill has existed for at least forty years, and Chambers' current operation is in conformance with Monroeville's zoning ordinance and pursuant to current licenses and permits of the Department of Environmental Resources and Allegheny County Health Department.

Chambers is a regional landfill, currently serving thirty-two municipalities, including the City of Pittsburgh, many public institutions, and private businesses. Pursuant to its contracts and safety and traffic concerns, Chambers and others collect solid waste after the regular business day, that is between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., and therefore Chambers has continued

[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 605]

    the operation of the landfill itself during those later hours.

On August 9, 1983, Monroeville enacted Ordinance 1379, which totally prohibits any activity at sanitary landfills between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. every day and all day on Sundays and holidays.*fn2 The prohibition does not relate to the collection activity.

Chambers sought to enjoin the enforcement of the ordinance and, after a hearing, the trial court issued a preliminary injunction. After a second hearing, the trial court permanently enjoined the enforcement of Ordinance 1379.

Monroeville's primary contention is that the trial court erred in concluding that the state had preempted the field of solid waste management so as to prohibit local regulation of the hours and days of operation. In support of its position, Monroeville notes that the Act contains no specific provision which preempts local regulation of operations, and also cites section 202 of the Act, 35 P.S. ยง ...


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