Volcanic Ash Regulation

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Mount Five-O erupted, and its ashes destroyed the property of Dan.The ash is in great demand for due to its heat resistance. It is,therefore, an excellent material for making heat resistance bricks.After the eruption, Brickcorp, a subsidiary of McGarret Inc. signed acontract with Dan to take large amounts of the ashes at a betterprice than the one offered by other brick manufacturers. The companyoperates in Nevada and moving the ashes from Hawaii into theirpremises will fall under interstate transfer of ashes for commercialpurposes. The state moved fast to intrude a legislation prohibitingthe commercialization of the ashes. The new state law provides thatno volcanic ash may be removed from the state in the next four year.However, it does not prohibit the importation of its products. Allthe volcanic ash brought into the state will be subject to a tax oftwo dollars for every pound. There are several factors to consider indetermining the constitutionality of the state o Hawaii law.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that tookeffect in 1868 prohibits any state from denying any individuals intheir jurisdictions the equal protection of the law (Rutledge et al.,2015). The law requires states to treat all citizens equallyregardless of their race of background. However, the federal equalprotection clause is subject to scrutiny for legal classification ofburden endured a given citizen. In City of Richmond v. J.A. CrosonCo., the government has to demonstrate that its law is narrowlytailored to achieve a compelling government interest. Dan’s casedoes not fall in the first nor the second tier of the scrutiny but inthe third. Restricting the sale of the ash does not contravene afundamental right or class of the individual.

Under the Privileges and Immunities Clause, the state does not err inrestricting Brickcorp from importing ashes from Hawaii. Although theclause requires states to provide immunities to citizens in severalstates, it does not extend to all commercial activity. In Carlson v.State Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, the Supreme Court ruledthat’s the clause is not absolute and a claim of violation must gothrough the two-step entry. The requirements for an activity to beconsidered are it should sufficiently support the basic livelihoodand contribute to states interest. The sale of Ash does not satisfyany of the two steps.

Also, in court, the state can quote Article Three of theConstitution that permits federal courts to hear cases whereby acitizen may contravene a law set by the state (Rutledge et al.,2015). The Commercial Clause of the Constitution gives the Congresspower to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among severalstates. The Falwel Act, therefore, holds constitutionally. In Dan’scase, the state prohibits any transportation of loose particles forcommercial purposes unless there is a proper containment. Theprovisions of the state of Hawaii are a sequel to the Falwell Act.The contract signed by Dan and Brickcorp will not hold against thestate law. Dan cannot overlook the law of the state by exporting theash to Nevada. Although Dan and Brickcorp have entered into acontract, they cannot execute it now that the state has a definedframework and its regulations are constitutional.


Rutledge, T., Stowe,J., Heleringer, R., DeAngelo, L., &amp Beck, R. (2015). Improvingor impeding? The Local &amp National Effects of State &ampFederal Regulation.