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Gary, City of v. Stream Pollution Control Bd.

Citation: 12 ELR 20034
No. No. 3-280A62, 422 N.E.2d 312/(Ind. Ct. App., 06/17/1981)

The court rules that financial difficulty does not excuse a municipal landfill's noncompliance with the state Stream Pollution Control Board's order to upgrade current dumping practices and upholds a preliminary injunction mandating either compliance with the order or cessation of operations until a final hearing is held. The order, agreed to by the city in 1975, dictates cover requirements and other standards for the landfill's operation. The state has denied the city's requests to allow tax levies under the state's tax control law sufficient to finance proper operation of the landfill.The court first finds that a party seeking injunctive relief need show neither irreparable injury nor a balance of hardship where the legislature has declared the acts unlawful. It next notes that the state's environmental statutes impose equal burdens of compliance on all polluters, public and private, without regard to financial resources. Since the city's difficulties in financing the landfill have existed since at least 1974, the court rules that such difficulties cannot now affect the order's legality nor excuse compliance with its terms. Moreover, true financial inability was not established because the city failed to show that it had explored all other financing possibilities.

Counsel for Appellant
Charles A. Ruckman, Corp. Counsel
City Hall, 401 Broadway, Gary IN 46402
(219) 944-6375

Counsel for Appellee
Linley E. Pearson, Attorney General; Jeff G. Fihn
219 State House, Indianapolis IN 46204
(317) 232-6201

YOUNG, P.J., and CHIPMAN, J., concur.