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United States v. Northside Sanitary Landfill, Inc.

ELR Citation: 18 ELR 20850
Nos. No. IP 88-172-C, 27 ERC 2122/(S.D. Ind., 04/12/1988)

The court denies the federal government's motion under §104(e)(5) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act for immediate entry to enjoin defendants from continuing landfilling operations at the Northside Sanitary Landfill site. The court first holds that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has shown that there is a reasonable basis to believe that there may be a release of hazardous substances from the site. The court next holds, however, that continued landfilling at the site does not interfere with EPA's cleanup activities. Unlike other recent cases granting EPA's motions for immediate access, defendant has not physically excluded EPA from the site. There is no evidence that the truck traffic and accompanying mud and dust interfere with the cleanup schedule. Although EPA argues that continued landfilling will alter the contours of the site and will require new topographic mapping after landfilling operations cease, EPA has not shown that its cleanup schedule will be delayed. Even if springtime foliage limits the time during which EPA can conduct aerial photography, EPA could rephotograph the area in the fall without overall delay in the cleanup schedule. Further, the cost of remapping is nominal, remapping will not alter the accuracy of the maps, and natural processes will cause the contours of the site to change even if landfilling operations cease today.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Mark R. Wenzel
2800 One Indiana Square, Indianapolis IN 46204
(317) 636-4341

Counsel for Defendants
Warren D. Krebs
Parr, Richey, Obremskey & Morton
121 Monument Circle, Suite 500, Indianapolis IN 46204-2994
(317) 632-3686