TRUMBULL COUNTY Lafarge, board to respond to suit
One attorney said the claims in the lawsuit are 'smoke and mirrors.'
By SHERRI L. SHAULIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Though not all parties named in a lawsuit filed by the village of Lordstown have been served, attorneys expect to file responses within the next week or so.
"You bet your britches we are filing a response," said Randy Rudloff, representing Lordstown Construction Recovery and its parent company, Lafarge North America.
Rudloff said that as of Friday morning his clients had not been served with the suit, but he had seen a copy of the claims.
He and assistant prosecutor Jason Earnhart, representing the Trumbull County Board of Health, each said they expect to file an answer to the charges shortly.
The suit, filed in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, asks that LCR be banned from proceeding with waste-disposal activities under a permit granted in August by the board of health to operate a construction debris landfill at a site owned by Lafarge on Newton Falls-Bailey Road.
By law, the board was required to approve the permit application, provided all necessary requirements were met under the application.
The complaint also accuses the county of failing to notify the village or its residents that the permit application had been filed or that the county was reviewing and considering granting the permit. It contends the county failed to consider the impact of activities at such a landfill on wetlands, groundwater and the village.
As for the claims against LCR and Lafarge, the suit says representations made to village officials and residents at a public hearing earlier this month differ from what's in the permit application, including "variations in groundwater monitoring procedures and days of operations."
Earnhart said he will file a response strictly on the claims against the board of health.
"We are not here to advance Lafarge's cause," he said. "We are going to defend what we did."
Rudloff said the claims are "a bunch of smoke and mirrors," adding village officials were notified the application had been filed.
He said company representatives attended a village council meeting in May and informed council of the proposed landfill then.
"It wasn't as if they didn't know," he said.
Wants courts to decide
Rudloff added the village had "done us a favor by filing the lawsuit," since it was the route he wanted to take in the first place. His clients at Lafarge, he said, instead wanted to go through the village board of zoning appeals.
The appeals board had a public hearing on the matter Sept. 9, but continued it until Oct. 28 to allow board members to research the proposal further.
Rudloff said he believes that by filing the lawsuit, the village gave up the right to issue a decision on the zoning issue and the courts will decide.