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(Seneca County, Feb. 29, 2024) – The Ohio Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by WIN Waste Innovations of Seneca County against the Seneca County Board of Health.

According to court documents, the case was terminated last week by the Ohio Supreme Court after a motion filed on behalf of the Seneca County Board of Health for judgment on the pleadings was granted.

WIN Waste Innovations of Seneca County had filed the lawsuit in May 2023, asking the court to vacate its 2023 and 2024 operating licenses issued by the Seneca County Board of Health for alleged violations of the Open Meetings Act.

The Seneca County Board of Health argued that like the 2023 license, the 2024 license contains conditions designed to protect the landfill’s neighbors and the environment from pollution, and that WIN Waste Innovations of Seneca County’s strategy was to prevent the board from including any protective conditions in the licenses.

“The conditions of the 2023 and 2024 operating license are reasonable and within standard practices. WIN Waste claims they are 100 percent in compliance. However, when we put reasonable conditions in place, they file a lawsuit against us,” Seneca County Board of Health President Clay Wolph said. “We as board members serve to protect Seneca County residents. We are unlike previous administrators who placed very few conditions on the landfill’s operating licenses, even if there
were numerous violations and the landfill operated under court consent orders. These consent orders allowed the landfill to bypass environmental regulations for years.”

Seneca County Health Commissioner Julie Richards said she is pleased with the recent decision.

“I am very pleased with the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss this lawsuit filed by WIN Waste Innovations of Seneca County,” Richards said. “I want to continue moving forward with our efforts to protect the residents of Seneca County.”

WIN Waste Innovations of Seneca County has appealed the 2023 and 2024 operating licenses to the Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC), claiming the license conditions are unreasonable and not consistent with standard industry practice.

According to court documents, a court hearing is scheduled for March 13 by the ERAC regarding a motion filed by WIN Waste Innovations of Seneca County to temporarily halt or suspend conditions in the 2024 license designed to prevent the leakage of waste from railcars accepted at the landfill.