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Landfill wants Supreme Court to hear its case

Even though it's already lost three rounds of legal battles, Waste Management Inc. is going back to court to try to keep the stinky, law-breaking Live Oak landfill open.

So far, a state Administrative Court tribunal, a Cobb County Superior Court judge, and the Georgia Court of Appeals have all upheld an order issued by the state Environmental Protection Division two years ago telling Waste Management that it has to close down Live Oak this December.

In 2002, EPD inspectors visited the landfill, located just south of Atlanta city limits, and found that Waste Management wasn't covering sewage sludge with soil, as required by law. The result of that and other violations was a stench that drove hundreds of south DeKalb and south Fulton county residents indoors.

On June 24, the company's lawyers notified the state Court of Appeals that they intend to ask the state Supreme Court for a hearing. Judicial rules say the state's highest court will only grant a hearing if a case is "of great concern, gravity, or importance to the public."

Waste Management officials didn't return Creative Loafing's phone calls. But company lawyers likely will argue that because Live Oak accepts 260,000 tons of city trash each year, it's imperative to the public good to keep it running.

"Waste Management's petition has been reviewed by several courts," Kasey Strum, an attorney representing the South DeKalb Neighborhood Coalition against the landfill, points out. "And now it's time they complied with the law."





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