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Groups want waste company dumped

November 26, 1996

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Opponents of Waste Management Inc.'s landfills have filed suit against the Pennsylvania attorney general in an effort to have the company barred from doing business in the state.

The suit, filed in Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and Antrim Residents Against Garbage Expansion (ARAGE), alleges that the attorney general has acted "arbitrarily and capriciously" by not revoking Waste Management's charter to do business in Pennsylvania.

The suit alleges the company has abused and misused its charter by continually violating state laws and regulations, and lists alleged violations dating back 15 years, ranging from failure to provide proper documentation to citations for chemical emissions.

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The company owns and operates the Mountain View Reclamation landfill west of Greencastle.

Mountain View Reclamation General Manager John Wardzinski said he did not know specifics of the suit and had no comment.

An expansion of the landfill was approved by Antrim Township Supervisors earlier this year with more than 20 disputed conditions, including provisions that would force Waste Management to pay Antrim Township hundreds of thousands of dollars more per year and provide trash disposal at current rates to township residents for 100 years. Waste Management filed suit against the conditions, and currently is negotiating with the township.

Rose Mager, an ARAGE member, said she would like to see Waste Management's landfills shut down.

"It's not just for here, it's for everybody who is stuck with them in their township."

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund attorney Thomas Linzey said charter revocations of the kind being sought haven't been enforced since 1962. The number of revocations declined after regulatory agencies were established, he said.

Linzey said that if the suit is successful and Waste Management is forced out of Pennsylvania, it's possible its landfills could be sold to another company.

"We think it's crazy. We have three strikes and you're out for individuals but we don't have anything for corporations," Linzey said.

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