HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala.(WDHN) — Now that the Alabama Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal sent by the city of Dothan regarding its landfill, the question on many people’s minds is what’s next?
With the highest court in the state refusing to hear the case regarding the city of Dothan’s dump expansion. The previous decision by the Court of Civil Appeals is upheld. This means Commissioners of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management shouldn’t have granted Dothan a permit allowing its landfill to expand.
It was almost a decade ago when Dothan started running out of space at the city landfill and wanted to expand, that’s also when the back and forth between the city and landowners started.
Landowners who live nearby the dump believe the waste has brought major health and environmental problems, so they’ve been fighting against the expansion.
“What the board of commissioners did was adopt a resolution basically approving a site for the landfill expansion,” David Ludder the attorney representing the landowners said. “The law requires they approve the application through ADEM and they did not do that.”
As of now, the Court of Civil Appeals remanded the case to a Circut Court to modify its decision but at this time no one knows what that modification could be.
However, assuming Dothan’s permit is invalidated by the circuit court, the city could get another go-around.
“The city has the opportunity to apply again for a permit with ADEM or it can abandon the idea of re-permitting that facility and disposing of their waste another way,” Ludder said.
With the highest court in Alabama refusing to hear the review, Ludder hopes that the city doesn’t apply for the permit once again because it would literally put both Dothan and landowners back to square one.
“Unfortunately for the city, this would be the fourth time I imagine that they have submitted an application and have it somehow, something go wrong where they couldn’t get the permit,” Ludder said. “I would hope the city would reconsider its decision because the case isn’t going to end if they re-apply.”
We have reached out to city officials regarding what they plan to do next and at this time they have no comment, except that operations at the dump will continue as normal.
We will of course keep you updated with any new developments.