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Group fighting landfill expansion to meet about legal action

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

CORTLAND – The anti-landfill expansion group Stop The Mega-Dump is inviting DeKalb County residents to attend an informational meeting Thursday to discuss more potential legal challenges to the expansion of the Waste Management landfill south of Cortland.

Dan Kenney, leader of the citizen’s group, said the meeting would give residents a chance to discuss whether the group should challenge the expansion on behalf of Cortland Township – a legal avenue that has yet to be traveled after the group lost its most recent challenge at the appellate court level. The meeting starts at 5:45 p.m. at the Cortland Lions Club Shelter.

Kenney cited a section of the Illinois state code he believes could give Cortland Township basis for a legal challenge to stop the expansion. The section states township electors may prevent the deposit of garbage within the township.

The Cortland Township Board of Trustees and Cortland electors – residents – objected to the landfill expansion by voice vote and through a letter to the County Board that urged members to vote against the expansion.

“[The code] makes it pretty clear townships should have a say in what garbage is brought in,” Kenney said. “Cortland Township is on the record asking the County Board not to allow expansion to go forward.”

Kenney said the group also would receive an update and recommendation from its lawyer about whether an appeal to the Illinois State Supreme Court should be made. The 2nd District Appellate Court found in October that the Illinois Pollution Control Board was correct in its ruling that county proceedings were not fundamentally unfair. The group has about two weeks to appeal the ruling.

Kenny encouraged any county residents interested in the issue to attend.

“It’s not about me ... it’s all about what the people want and what they want to do next,” he said. “We just have to weigh our options.”

County Board members have proposed using the tipping fee revenue from a landfill expansion to fund the county’s jail expansion. Although the funding source is not final, legal challenges have prevented the board from moving forward with jail expansion plans.

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