Operators of the C&D Disposal Technolgies landfill in Jefferson County have been prohibited from accepting most types of solid waste, but only after years of disputes with the county health department and state agencies.
Earlier this month, Jefferson County Common Pleas Court Judge David Henderson issued a temporary restraining order against the landfill. On Monday, Common Pleas Court Judge Joseph Bruzzese followed up with a "temporary agreement order" preventing the landfill from accepting any waste other than metal and masonry. C&D Managing Partner Joseph Scugoza agreed to the measure.
C&D's requests for operating licenses have been denied by the county health department in 2010, 2011 and this year. Complaints about the landfill by both local and state entities date back about five years.
Matters finally came to a head when county Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Emmanuela Agresta, acting on behalf of the health department, sought the temporary restraining order. Agresta argued "illegal dumping of solid waste (at the landfill) constitutes a nuisance and poses a threat to the general public's health ..." Agresta added solid waste at the C&D facility "is in an advanced state of composting, is causing a foul stench in the area and is leaching into the water table and nearby Cross Creek."
It certainly appears both Henderson and Bruzzese had good reason to go along with orders limiting the landfill's activities.
But the long history of disputes brings up the question of why it has taken so long for decisive action to be taken.
A hearing will be held Aug. 9 in Henderson's court, to address a state request for a permanent injunction against the landfill. The judge's decision should be based on a simple question: Can C&D provide believable assurances it will operate within the law? If not, the facility should be shut down, or at the very least required to devise and stick to a plan to operate without breaking either local or state regulations.