Wednesday, March 01, 2000

Ruling 'death blow' to landfill

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MORROW — A Warren County judge has let stand an earlier ruling ending a lawsuit by landfill operators seeking to create a waste site in the village.

        The action, by Warren County Common Pleas Court Judge P. Daniel Fedders, combined with a withdrawal by landfill operators of a rezoning application to end an effort to put a waste site in Morrow.

        “This is a death blow to any landfill,” said village resident Ruth MacKenzie, chairwoman of the Morrow Environmental Preservation Association.

        Judge Fedders decided last week to let stand his 1998 ruling, which found an emergency ordinance against a landfill, passed by the Morrow Village Council, unconstitutional.

        Officials from Browning-Ferris Industries of Ohio Inc., which operates the only landfill in Warren County, had challenged the ordinance but later withdrew the rezoning request that had targeted the former Alpine Ski Resort site in Morrow for a new landfill.

        Before BFI's zoning withdrawal, BFI was purchased by Allied Waste Industries of Scottsdale, Ariz., in September.

        The local attorney for Allied said he knows of no plans by the waste disposal company to further pursue a landfill site in Morrow.

        Attorney C. Francis Barrett said BFI, and later through Allied, was leasing the Alpine site but that “Allied has decided not to pursue” the site further.

        Allied officials were unavailable for comment.

        Ms. Mackenzie said Allied's decision to not pursue rezoning in Morrow, despite Judge Fedders' ruling in the company's favor, shows “that Morrow is out of their shotgun sights.”

        “We're really pleased,” she said.

        BFI's purchase by Allied also turned the ownership of the nearby Bigfoot Run landfill, in Union Township, over to the Arizona company.

        Bigfoot reached capacity and closed in May, but another lawsuit filed by BFI in 1998 against Warren County commissioners is still pending.


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