- A 9-year legal battle between Ohio’s Colerain Township and Rumpke has come to a close, and Rumpke has the green light to expand the town’s landfill, which will generate about $98 million for the municipality over the facility’s projected 50-year life. The agreement comes more than a month after a court ruling that allowed the Rumpke Sanitary Landfill to double in size.
- Under the settlement, Rumpke can expand its operations while the township receives a flat fee (through 2021) for at least 1 million tons of solid waste, a projected annual fee of $1.25 million. The flat fee reduces to $1.1 million in 2022. The township continues to receive the 25 cents per ton host fee on top of 20 cents per ton under an earlier consent decree.
- The agreement stipulates that there will be no further expansion without consent of the Colerain Township Board of Trustees. It also limits blasting times and locations; for instance blasting is prohibited within 200 feet of any residence district, without the homeowner’s written consent.
It’s been a long battle since Rumpke was first refused the right to expand the landfill, despite its claims that the facility would otherwise run out of space by 2027.
Township law director Larry Barbiere said at a public hearing that the agreement is good for the township, adding the town would likely lose in an appeal.
Trustee Jeff Ritter, the only remaining board member from the time the case emerged, said this vote was one of the most difficult decisions he has made. He said it was important to mitigate risk and ensure the town is rightly compensated. But he and outgoing trustee Mindy Rinehart said the case has taken energy, effort, time, resources and focus, and it was time to move on.
“Nine years is a long time," agreed Rumpke spokeswoman Amanda Pratt. "This agreement resolves the zoning issues and allows us to begin to move forward. From the beginning, it’s always been important to us, as one of the township’s largest employers, to make sure we could come up with a plan that best meets the needs of the township and its residents. And this allows us to do that."