Submitted: November 5, 2019
from Public Service Commission of West Virginia Case No.
F. Gianola James A. Gianola Gianola, Barnum, Bechtel &
Jecklin L.C. Morgantown, West Virginia Attorneys for the
Jessica M. Lane General Counsel J. Joseph Watkins Public
Service Commission of West Virginia Charleston, West Virginia
Attorneys for the Respondent,
BY THE COURT
"'"The principle is well established by the
decisions of this Court that an order of the public service
commission based upon its finding of facts will not be
disturbed unless such finding is contrary to the evidence, or
is without evidence to support it, or is arbitrary, or
results from a misapplication of legal principles."
United Fuel Gas Company v. Public Service
Commission, 143 W.Va. 33[, 99 S.E.2d 1 (1957)].'
Syl. Pt. 5, Boggs v. Pub. Serv. Comm'n, 154
W.Va. 146, 174 S.E.2d 331 (1970)." Syllabus point 1,
Sierra Club v. Public Service Commission of West
Virginia, 241 W.Va. 600, 827 S.E.2d 224 (2019).
"The primary object in construing a statute is to
ascertain and give effect to the intent of the
Legislature." Syllabus point 1, Smith v. State
Workmen's Compensation Commissioner, 159 W.Va. 108,
219 S.E.2d 361 (1975).
"Where the language of a statute is free from ambiguity,
its plain meaning is to be accepted and applied without
resort to interpretation." Syllabus point 2,
Crockett v. Andrews, 153 W.Va. 714, 172 S.E.2d 384
petitioner herein, Trulargo, LLC ("Trulargo"),
appeals from the April 5, 2019 order of the Public Service
Commission of West Virginia ("PSC"). By that order,
the PSC found that Trulargo had been unlawfully operating as
a common carrier by motor vehicle and required it to cease
such activities. On appeal to this Court, Trulargo argues
that the PSC erred by determining it to be a common carrier
and further improperly regulated its roll-off container
rental business and the costs it charges for such service.
Both the PSC and the additional respondent herein, Allied
Waste Services of North America, LLC, doing business as
Republic Services of West Virginia ("Republic"),
respond that the PSC order was correctly decided and should
be affirmed. Upon a review of the parties' arguments and
briefs, the appendix record, and the pertinent authorities,
we conclude that the PSC did not err by ruling that Trulargo
was operating as a common carrier by motor vehicle and
requiring it to cease such operations until it obtains a
permit therefore. Accordingly, we affirm the PSC's April
5, 2019 order.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
case originated when Republic filed a complaint with the PSC
alleging that Trulargo was collecting and hauling waste as a
common carrier by motor vehicle without possessing a
certificate of convenience and necessity from the PSC
allowing it to do so. Trulargo is primarily in the business
of residential real estate construction and represents that,
when it was unable to procure a roll-off container to use for
waste generated at its construction jobsites, it purchased
its own container. Thereafter, Trulargo indicates that it
received inquiries from members of the public regarding the
rental of its container, and, as a result, Trulargo purchased
several additional roll-off containers to rent to customers.
Trulargo further advertised the availability of these
containers for rent on the side of the containers,
themselves, and on its website.
of its standard rental agreement, Trulargo delivered an empty
roll-off container to the customer renting it and left the
container at the customer's site during the rental
period, which was generally one week. At the end of the
rental period, Trulargo picked up the container and hauled
the customer's contents left therein to a waste disposal
site. The rental fee that Trulargo charged its customers was
the same price regardless of whether the container was empty
or full when Trulargo picked it up. Moreover, the set rental
price did not change regardless of the distance Trulargo was
required to travel to deliver the rented roll-off container
to and retrieve it from a customer.
an investigation and a hearing, the PSC adopted the
recommended decision of the ALJ, entered February 4, 2019,
and issued a Commission Order on April 5, 2019. By that
order, the PSC determined that Trulargo is operating as a
common carrier by motor vehicle when it rents its containers
to customers and hauls away the contents thereof at the end
of the rental period when it picks up its roll-off
containers. As such, the PSC required "Trulargo, LLC, to
cease and desist from operating as a common carrier providing
solid waste ...