Covering Louisiana

May 20, 2014 12:15 PM by AP

Environmental group files lawsuit over landfill

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Louisiana Environmental Action Network has filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Environmental Quality, asking the court to toss out a permit the state recently granted for the operation of a landfill in north Baton Rouge.

DEQ granted Louisiana Land Acquisitions a permit on April 4 to operate an industrial waste landfill.

DEQ had denied an earlier application from the company but approved another application submitted by the company last year.

The Advocate reports the lawsuit, filed in 19th Judicial District Court on Monday, states that DEQ didn't have the authority to issue the permit because the previous permit application is still under review by the district court.

Louisiana Land Acquisitions asked the court to review the application denied by DEQ, but before the court issued a final decision, the company submitted another application, which DEQ approved.

"It wasn't within DEQ's jurisdiction to grant at this point," said Adam Babich, director of the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic. Babich filed the lawsuit on behalf of LEAN.

"It's the same facility. Same permittee. It's not really a different permit," Babich said.

Another argument in the lawsuit is that DEQ did not consider the overall environmental cost of the project or the impact it would have on the nearby community of Alsen.

"DEQ is proposing to put this in an area that is already under a lot of environmental stress from other sources," Babich said.

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