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Lodi Loses In More Ways Than One

The City of Lodi doesn't like hazardous waste, so they passed an ordinance, MERLO, (see second story down) to regulate it. It passed muster (partially) before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Given that their ordinance had for the most part gotten past the possible conflict with the federal hazardous waste laws, the City was emboldened. They went after more companies using their ordinance. One company, Randtron, however, fought back and claimed that it was preempted by the HSAA, the California State Superfund laws. The City, confident with its somewhat federal victory, fought back.

They lost.

Turns out that the state appeals court thinks that the State Superfund law controls over the City's ordinance. Who woulda thunk it? No kidding.

But, it didn't have to be such a loss. All the City had to do to exercise proper jurisdiction over Randtron was to designate the area as redevelopment and then use the Polanco Redevelopment Act. Too bad they didn't think of that first. Would have saved them a ton in attorneys fees.

Oh well, it's only the taxpayer's money.

Sunday, May 9, 2004. Here's a follow-up in the Contra Costa Times about the lawyers fees charged in these cases.

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, May 07, 2004


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