By Don Iler • News Editor • 

Landfill foes turn to Court of Appeals

They are petitioning the Oregon Court of Appeals to reinstate the case despite the deadline lapse, result of a clerical error on the part of the law firm representing them at the time.

The appellants group consists of the Stop the Dump Coalition, Friends of Yamhill County, the Willamette Valley Wineries Association and McPhillips Farm Inc. It has since retained new counsel, David C. Noren of Hillsboro.

At issue is a January decision by the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners granting a rezoning designed to pave the way for a 37-acre expansion. Opponents were planning an appeal, but their lawyer did not fill in time. 

The Oregon Court of Appeals, which also establishes and enforces deadlines for the filing of legal motions, has given the two sides until July 2 to submit their arguments. 

Jackie Lang, spokesperson for the landfill’s Texas-based parent firm, Waste Management Inc., said she didn’t expect landfill expansion foes to succeed with their missed deadline challenge.

“We are somewhat surprised considering the earlier decision was very clear,” Lang said. “It seems unlikely that this appeal will result in a different outcome.”

Attempts to reach Stop the Dump Coalition for comment were unsuccessful. 

The landfill was developed on 85 acres in the 1980s. Without expansion, it would most likely reach capacity by 2016.

Coupled with a waste-to-energy plant designed to substantially reduce waste volume, the expansion would give the site another 15 to 20 years. The county commissioners made the waste conversion plant a condition of their rezoning approval. 

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