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SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES (04/25/83)

decided: April 25, 1983.

SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY, BY THE SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES, AND LYNCOTT CORPORATION, APPELLEES



No. 81-3-444 & No. 72 E.D. Appeal Dkt. 1982, Appeals from the Judgments of the Commonwealth Court at No. 490 C.D. 1980 dated April 9, 1981 and Nos. 89 & 1418 C.D. 1981 dated April 13, 1982 affirming the orders of the Environmental Hearing Board.

COUNSEL

Gerald C. Grimaud, Tunkhannock, for appellant.

Louis A. Naugle, Asst. Atty. Gen., for D.E.R.

Pamela S. Goodwin, Bernard Chanin, Joseph M. Manko, Bruce S. Katcher, Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Green, Philadelphia, for Lyncott Corp.

Roberts, C.j., and Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Hutchinson and Zappala, JJ. Nix, J., files a dissenting opinion.

Author: Larsen

[ 500 Pa. Page 513]

OPINION

Appellee, Lyncott Corporation (Lyncott), operates a sanitary landfill in New Milford Township, Susquehanna County under water quality and solid waste management permits issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Resources (DER). Acting upon complaints concerning alleged violations at the Lyncott landfill, received from both Susquehanna County (County) and a group of private citizens, DER conducted an investigation of the site. As a result of the investigation, it was found that certain violations had occurred and/or were occurring at the landfill.*fn1 The DER issued an administrative order dated

[ 500 Pa. Page 514]

April 27, 1979 addressed to Lyncott specifying the violations discovered and directing that Lyncott refrain from certain activities at the landfill site, and take certain other affirmative operational actions within a specified time frame. The County appealed the DER order to the Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) setting forth in its appeal that the water quality permit as well as the Solid Waste Permit of Lyncott should be revoked*fn2 and that Lyncott should be ordered to make full and complete reclamation of the landfill area.*fn3

[ 500 Pa. Page 515]

By order dated February 1, 1980, the EHB ruled, among other things, that the County lacked standing to challenge the DER order and dismissed the appeal. The Commonwealth Court affirmed the EHB order.*fn4 A petition for review filed by the appellant County in this court was granted.

During the course of the operation of the Lyncott landfill, the DER, from time to time, responded to requests made on behalf of the permittee (Appellee-Lyncott Corporation) and issued approvals for the disposal of certain specified toxic chemical wastes at the landfill site. The waste approved for disposal in each instance involved materials not authorized under the original permit. This appeal also includes eight such approvals which, in each case, were issued in the form of an authorizing letter to Lyncott. The appellant-County appealed to the EHB from each approval granted and the appeals were dismissed for lack of standing on the part of the appellant. The ...


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