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Landfill 'impasse' brings in the lawyers

Health Board votes to take Casella to court

April 18, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — The landfill is heading to court again.

On Thursday, April 14, the Board of Health voted 2-1 to pursue legal advice against Casella over the fact the company refused to submit a new site assignment application for the processing facility (the blue building and area used for hazardous collection days, essentially).

"They all went through the motions they had to, and it's the impasse we're at," said Chairman Dr. Thomas O'Leary afterward. "No matter my opinion of the situation, we had to seek town counsel's advice."

Earlier, while still in the meeting, he told a few town councilors present, "I can pretty much guarantee you guys at the Town Council will be hearing this in all its gory detail."

The clash did not surprise anybody — it has been building for years. The vote starts the fourth legal case surrounding the landfill since the board approved the current site assignment in 2008. The biggest of them, regarding the whole decision, currently awaits a date before the Supreme Judicial Court (probably in the fall) after being shot down by a Worcester Superior Court judge last year. The second case addressed the Conservation Commission's approval of the road; a Department of Environmental Protection administrative judge ruled in the town's favor when the plaintiffs failed to produce evidence. The third was a Sturbridge Board of Health appeal of the DEP's approval of Casella's first-stage permit expansion last June; a Superior Court judge summarily rejected that last fall.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

Janines Frostee
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