« Ind. Decisions - One today from Supreme Court | Main | Law - "Bill would let top lawmakers intervene in court cases when AG declines to defend Kentucky law" »

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Environment - Tentative settlement reached in federal class action lawsuit against VIM Recycling in Elkhart

The most recent post the ILB has on VIM Recycling in Elkhart is one from May 30, 2012, reporting on a $150,000 fine ordered by an Elkhart County judge.

In an Elkhart Truth story posted yesterday afternoon, headed "Controversial Elkhart County wood grinder to halt operation under tentative court accord: The controversial plant on Old U.S. 33 has been the focus of wrangling and lawsuits for years," Tim Vandenack reports:

After years of wrangling, lawsuits and more, a tentative end is in sight to long-standing complaints centered on a controversial wood-grinding operation west of Elkhart.

Neighbors living around Soil Solutions Inc. and the company have reached a tentative agreement to resolve a four-year-old federal lawsuit charging that the firm is a nuisance and health hazard. Under terms of the accord, subject to final approval at a June 16 U.S. District Court hearing in Hammond, Soil Solutions would clean the massive mounds of wood and wood waste piled at the Old U.S. 33 location in Baugo Township. It would have five years to complete the cleanup, then it would have to halt wood-grinding operations.

"Everything has to go. They have to have it cleaned out," Wayne Stutsman, who lives in the neighborhood and has spearheaded efforts to close the operation, said Tuesday, March 11.

Kim Ferraro, one of the attorneys for the neighbors, said another provision of the tentative accord prevents Soil Solutions from turning the operation into another industrial waste facility once the wood-grinding operation is gone. The accord was the focus of a court hearing last week.

"The operation itself is just inherently harmful and disruptive," she said Tuesday. "It's just really the only way."

A second story sets out "a timeline of events leading to the tentative court accord, focus of a hearing last week in U.S. District Court in Hammond."

Also available for background is the Feb. 5, 2013 story headed "Case against wood recycling firm gets class-action status, underlying issues stay the same: The three-year-old federal lawsuit surrounding the old VIM Recycling site has garnered class-action status, but the core issues remain the same. "

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 12, 2014 12:08 PM
Posted to Environment