Miller's legal actions against landfills joins growing list

Legal News Line Jan. 25, 2007, 8:43am

Tom Miller

DES MOINES - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller yesterday jumped on the landfill-lawsuit bandwagon by filing suits against four separate Iowa-based landfill operators. Miller's suits allege a range of state environmental law violations against the operators, including inadequate water-quality monitoring, open burning of solid waste, illegal disposal and illegal "de-manufacturing." The AG also alleges that some of the companies did not have storm water discharge permits or pollution prevention plans. "All four suits seek to enforce state environmental laws and regulations," Miller said. Landfills are one of the most common targets of environmental lawsuits locally and statewide. On the same day that Miller announced his lawsuit, residents of Milford, Mich. won a settlement of $150,000 for loss of property value due to contamination from a nearby landfill, against local officials and two landfill operators. Also on the same day, a lawsuit brought by the Arizona Department of Environment and Natural Resources against three companies over an abandoned landfill near Phoenix was scheduled for hearing Feb. 5. The suit alleges that the landfill's unprocessed waste poses "potential threats to people, wildlife and the environment." And residents in Florida's Santa Rosa County recently filed a class action lawsuit against the operators of the local Coyote Landfill for alleged air-quality violations. County officials have since begun monitoring air quality near the 37-acre landfill, which holds construction and demolition debris. Miller filed suit against Landfill of Des Moines, Inc. and Steve Corell; Harold and Sharon DeVos; Albert C. Miller; and Robert Miller. His lawsuit seeks "civil penalties and a court order against further violations."

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