County takes battle against landfill to Maryland's second-highest court

December 09, 1997|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

Maryland's second-highest court heard opposing arguments yesterday from the county and a would-be landfill operator on whether a Circuit Court judge had the right to order the County Council to include a proposed rubble landfill in Anne Arundel's solid waste management plan.

Senior Assistant County Attorney John F. Breads Jr. contended that Circuit Judge Clayton R. Greene Jr. exceeded his authority, misapplied state law and misconstrued facts in March when he ordered the council to pass an amendment immediately to the solid waste plan to include the proposed Chesapeake Terrace landfill in Odenton.

Greene had ruled that a council decision in 1994 to exclude the proposed landfill from the plan -- and thereby block the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) from issuing a permit -- was "arbitrary." But Breads said the decision was within the council's authority.

Developer Warren E. Halle, owner of the site, first applied for a permit to operate the landfill in 1988, but the proposal has been tied up in a series of battles with residents who oppose it and fTC county officials who say Anne Arundel does not need the facility.

A lawyer for Halle, Steven P. Resnick, argued before the Court of Special Appeals yesterday that the council illegally exercised "veto power" -- a power it did not have -- over the MDE permit process for landfills by keeping the project out of the county plan.

The county's appeal of Greene's judicial decision arose from a $10 million lawsuit Halle filed against the county in October 1996 for damages that he contends his company, National Waste Managers Inc., has suffered from delay in opening the landfill.

Both sides await the appeals court's decision.

Pub Date: 12/09/97

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