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articles of commerce coming from outside the State unless there is some reason, apart from their origin, to treat them differently. Both on its face and in its plain effect, ch. 363 violates this principle of nondiscrimination.
The Court has consistently found parochial legislation of this kind to be constitutionally invalid, whether the ultimate aim of the legislation was to assure a steady supply of milk by erecting barriers to allegedly ruinous outside competition, Baldwin v. G. A. F. Seelig, Inc., 294 U. S., at 522–524; or to create jobs by keeping industry within the State, FosterFountain Packing Co. v. Haydel, 278 U. S. 1, 10; Johnson v. Haydel, 278 U. S. 16; Toomer v. Witsell, 334 U. S., at 403– 404; or to preserve the State's financial resources from depletion by fencing out indigent immigrants, Edwards v. California, 314 U. S. 160, 173-174. In each of these cases, a presumably legitimate goal was sought to be achieved by the illegitimate means of isolating the State from the national economy.
Also relevant here are the Court's decisions holding that a State may not accord its own inhabitants a preferred right of access over consumers in other States to natural resources located within its borders. West v. Kansas Natural Gas Co., 221 U. S. 229; Pennsylvania v. West Virginia, 262 U. S. 553. These cases stand for the basic principle that a "State is without power to prevent privately owned articles of trade from being shipped and sold in interstate commerce on the ground that they are required to satisfy local demands or because they are needed by the people of the State.” 6 FosterFountain Packing Co. v. Haydel, supra, at 10.
We express no opinion about New Jersey's power, consistent with the Commerce Clause, to restrict to state residents access to state-owned resources, compare Douglas v. Seacoast Products, Inc., 431 U. S. 265, 283– 287, with id., at 287–290 (REHNQUIST, J., concurring and dissenting); Toomer v. Witsell, 334 U. S. 385, 404; or New Jersey's power to spend state funds solely on behalf of state residents and businesses, compare Hughes v. Alexandria Scrap Corp., 426 U. S. 794, 805-810; id., at 815
The New Jersey law at issue in this case falls squarely within the area that the Commerce Clause puts off limits to state regulation. On its face, it imposes on out-of-state commercial interests the full burden of conserving the State's remaining landfill space. It is true that in our previous cases the scarce natural resource was itself the article of commerce, whereas here the scarce resource and the article of commerce are distinct. But that difference is without consequence. In both instances, the State has overtly moved to slow or freeze the flow of commerce for protectionist reasons. It does not matter that the State has shut the article of commerce inside the State in one case and outside the State in the other. What is crucial is the attempt by one State to isolate itself from a problem common to many by erecting a barrier against the movement of interstate trade.
The appellees argue that not all laws which facially discriminate against out-of-state commerce are forbidden protectionist regulations. In particular, they point to quarantine laws, which this Court has repeatedly upheld even though they appear to single out interstate commerce for special treatment. See Baldwin v. G. A. F. Seelig, Inc., supra, at 525; Bowman v. Chicago & Northwestern R. Co., 125 U. S., at 489. In the appellees' view, ch. 363 is analogous to such health-protective measures, since it reduces the exposure of New Jersey residents to the allegedly harmful effects of landfill sites.
It is true that certain quarantine laws have not been considered forbidden protectionist measures, even though they were directed against out-of-state commerce. See Asbell v. Kansas, 209 U. S. 251; Reid v. Colorado, 187 U. S. 137; Bowman v. Chicago & Northwestern R. Co., supra, at 489. But those quarantine laws banned the importation of articles such as diseased livestock that required destruction as soon
(STEVENS, J., concurring), with id., at 817 (BRENNAN, J., dissenting). Also compare South Carolina State Highway Dept. v. Barnwell Bros., Inc., 303 U. S. 177, 187, with Southern Pacific Co. v. Arizona ex rel. Sullivan, 325 U. S. 761,783.
REHNQUIST, J., dissenting
as possible because their very movement risked contagion and other evils. Those laws thus did not discriminate against interstate commerce as such, but simply prevented traffic in noxious articles, whatever their origin.
The New Jersey statute is not such a quarantine law. There has been no claim here that the very movement of waste into or through New Jersey endangers health, or that waste must be disposed of as soon and as close to its point of generation as possible. The harms caused by waste are said to arise after its disposal in landfill sites, and at that point, as New Jersey concedes, there is no basis to distinguish outof-state waste from domestic waste. If one is inherently harmful, so is the other. Yet New Jersey has banned the former while leaving its landfill sites open to the latter. The New Jersey law blocks the importation of waste in an obvious effort to saddle those outside the State with the entire burden of slowing the flow of refuse into New Jersey's remaining landfill sites. That legislative effort is clearly impermissible under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
Today, cities in Pennsylvania and New York find it expedient or 'necessary to send their waste into New Jersey for disposal, and New Jersey claims the right to close its borders to such traffic. Tomorrow, cities in New Jersey may find it expedient or necessary to send their waste into Pennsylvania or New York for disposal, and those States might then claim the right to close their borders. The Commerce Clause will protect New Jersey in the future, just as it protects her neighbors now, from efforts by one State to isolate itself in the stream of interstate commerce from a problem shared by all. The judgment is
MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE joins, dissenting
A growing problem in our Nation is the sanitary treatment and disposal of solid waste. For many years, solid waste was
1 Congress specifically recognized the substantial dangers to the environ
REHNQUIST, J., dissenting
incinerated. Because of the significant environmental problems attendant on incineration, however, this method of solid waste disposal has declined in use in many localities, including New Jersey. "Sanitary” landfills have replaced incineration as the principal method of disposing of solid waste. In ch. 363 of the 1973 N. J. Laws, the State of New Jersey legislatively recognized the unfortunate fact that landfills also present extremely serious health and safety problems. First, in New Jersey, “virtually all sanitary landfills can be expected to produce leachate, a noxious and highly polluted liquid which is seldom visible and frequently pollutes . . . ground and surface waters." App. 149. The natural decomposition process which occurs in landfills also produces large quantities of methane and thereby presents a significant explosion hazard. Id., at 149, 156–157. Landfills can also generate "health hazards caused by rodents, fires and scavenger birds”: and, "needless to say, do not help New Jersey's aesthetic appearance nor New Jersey's noise or water or air pollution problems.” Supp. App. 5.
The health and safety hazards associated with landfills present appellees with a currently unsolvable dilemma. Other, hopefully safer, methods of disposing of solid wastes are still in the development stage and cannot presently be used. But appellees obviously cannot completely stop the tide of solid
aste that its citizens will produce in the interim. For the moment, therefore, appellees must continue to use sanitary landfills to dispose of New Jersey's own solid waste despite the critical environmental problems thereby created.
ment and public health that are posed by current methods of disposing of solid waste in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, 90 Stat. 2795. As the Court recognizes, ante, at 621 n. 4, the laws under challenge here "can be enforced consistently with the program goals and the respective federal-state roles intended by Congress when it enacted” this and other legislation and are thus not pre-empted by any federal statutes.
REHNQUIST, J., dissenting
The question presented in this case is whether New Jersey must also continue to receive and dispose of solid waste from neighboring States, even though these will inexorably increase the health problems discussed above. The Court answers this question in the affirmative. New Jersey must either prohibit all landfill operations, leaving itself to cast about for a presently nonexistent solution to the serious problem of disposing of the waste generated within its own borders, or it must accept waste from every portion of the United States, thereby multiplying the health and safety problems which would result if it dealt only with such wastes generated within the State. Because past precedents establish that the Commerce Clause does not present appellees with such a Hobson's choice, I dissent.
The Court recognizes, ante, at 621-622, that States can prohibit the importation of items " which, on account of their existing condition, would bring in and spread disease, pestilence, and death, such as rags or other substances infected with the germs of yellow fever or the virus of small-pox, or cattle or meat or other provisions that are diseased or decayed, or otherwise, from their condition and quality, unfit for human use or consumption.'” Bowman v. Chicago & Northwestern R. Co., 125 U. S. 465, 489 (1888). See Baldwin v. G. A. F. Seelig, Inc., 294 U. S. 511, 525 (1935); Sligh v. Kirkwood, 237 U. S. 52, 59-60 (1915); Asbell v. Kansas, 209 U. S. 251 (1908); Railroad Co. v. Husen, 95 U. S. 465, 472 (1878). As the Court points out, such “quarantine laws have not been considered forbidden protectionist measures, even though they were directed against out-of-state commerce.” Ante, at 628 (emphasis added).
2 Regulations of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection “except from the ban on out-of-state refuse those types of solid waste which may have a value for recycling or for use as fuel.” App. 47. Thus, the ban under challenge would appear to be strictly limited to that waste which will be disposed of in sanitary landfills and thereby pose health and safety dangers to the citizens of New Jersey.