Stop the Dump! SPB Files for Injunction

by Daniel W. Van Riper, Oct./Nov. 90

Friday, October 5, SPB attorney Lewis B. Oliver filed for an injunction to stop work on the expansion of the Albany County Landfill. Arguing in Albany County Court before Judge John G. Conner, Oliver presented a paper trail that convincingly demonstrated that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the City of Albany had entered into an illegal "shady backroom deal" to subvert the judicial process and avoid complying with NYS environmental regulations.

Presenting the case for the City, Attorney Richard Cogan, weighing in at a hefty $175 per hour of taxpayer money, pointed out that "13 municipalities depend on the City for garbage disposal," and that too much work has been done on the "interim landfill" to restore this prime Karner Blue Butterfly habitat. Maureen Leary, from the NYS Attorney General's Office, advocated for the DEC. She told the court, "I'm not from around here, I'm from New Jersey," and therefore was in a good position to observe whether or not a political deal had taken place. "A hard look was taken, and I do not see a political deal," she said, and pointed out that since Judge Conner also was "not from around here" he should agree with her assessment despite the hard evidence before him.

"The State is allowing the City to violate the landfill permit in 6 or 7 ways. The State knows it and allows it," said Oliver. He pointed out that the DEC is coming down hard on waste disposal sites all over the state, yet is deliberately overlooking violations at its own dumpsite. (The State of New York accounts for 20% of the garbage currently dumped in the Pine Bush, and would be using the new 25 acre site as it's primary means of disposal.)

It's not too late to restore the site, said Oliver. According to an affidavit filed by a local scientist, "even though the site is leveled and cleared, in a short period of time the blue lupine can come back stronger, and grow better in an open area."

Judge Conner decided to reserve decision on granting an injunction to stop work. If the injunction is granted, the City of Albany is effectively stymied and will be forced to formulate a coherent waste disposal policy just like other municipalities have been doing. If an injunction is not granted, then the case will move to the State Appellate Division, a move which the Attorney General's Office has said it will not oppose.

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

by Daniel W. Van Riper, Jan./Feb. 91

On October 5, Save the Pine Bush filed for an injunction to stop work on the expansion of the Albany County Landfill. Judge John C. Conner refused to make a decision that day. And he continues to refuse to make a decision, in the nearly four months that have gone by since.

This move by Judge Conner effectively blocks all litigation efforts by Save the Pine Bush. The reasons for his actions are not clear. During the injunction hearing, the Judge referred to the Karner Blue Butterflies as "blueflies," which indicates that he is ignorant of environmental issues. Or perhaps his decision to delay comes from sympathy to influential interests who wish to see the landfill built.

Decisions regarding injunctions are usually made quickly. Injunctions are filed to prevent something imminent from happening, and time is of the essence. Recognizing the importance of time for cases involving an injunction, NYS law requires a judge to rule on an injunction in 60 days.

In the injunction, Save the Pine Bush asked for the work to be stopped on the landfill while the case that we brought against the Governor, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the City of Albany is heard in court and decided on its merits.

The court case Save the Pine Bush brought against the approval of the landfill contended that EnCon Commissioner Thomas Jorling's approval was a result of a political deal. The State of New York depends on the Albany landfill to get rid of its garbage, a full 20% of all garbage dumped in the landfill comes from the State of New York.

Justice Delayed is Still Justice Denied

By Lynne Jackson, Mar./Apr. 91

As we reported in our last newsletter, on October 5, Save the Pine Bush filed for an injunction to stop work on the expansion of the Albany County Landfill. Judge John C. Conner refused to make a decision that day. And he continues to refuse to make a decision, in the nearly six months that have gone by since.

Judge John Conner's refusal to make a decision is an outrageous miscarriage of justice.

What can concerned citizens do about Judge Conner's refusal to make a decision? Write to the newspapers. Call the TV stations. Call the Judge. Ask why could it possibly take six months for Judge Conner to decide on an injunction. Ask what is going on in Judge Connor's court that Save the Pine Bush cannot get justice.


Back to SPB Fights Index

Vegetarian Lasagna Dinner
Pine Bush Hike

Current Newsletter

About
Save the Pine Bush

Virtual Photo Exhibit 

Action Alerts

Volunteer Nights

Articles in Date Order

Links

Articles by Subject

 Save the Pine Bush Home Email Save the Pine Bush