Iowa AG files lawsuit against landfill agency

By Bryan Cohen | Sep 30, 2013

ORANGE CITY, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the Sioux County-based Northwest Iowa Area Solid Waste Agency for allegedly violating the law in relation to deposited waste in a Sheldon-area landfill.

NIASWA allegedly deposited 300,000 tons, or 600,000 cubic yards, of solid waste into cells with no liner or leachate collection system at its Northwest Iowa Area Sanitary Landfill. Since 2007, Iowa state law requires the use of the liner and leachate collection system.

Miller's suit alleges that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources restricted the use of 14 municipal solid waste landfill units at the facility because they did not contain a liner and leachate collection system. The DNR alleged that an inspection revealed that solid waste was deposited in the restricted units when the facility ran out of room in the approved units.

The lawsuit also alleges that NIASWA started constructing two cells without first getting the necessary state permits from the DNR.

By a request from the DNR, Miller is authorized to institute any necessary legal proceedings in obtaining compliance with an order or prosecuting any person for violating the liner and leachate requirement. A violation of the rule is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each day of the violation.

Miller's lawsuit seeks injunctive relief and civil penalties for the alleged environmental violations.

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