COLUMBUS — Today Ohio’s highest court ruled unanimously in favor of Colerain Township in their six-year-long battle with Rumpke Sanitary Landfill over a proposed 350 acre expansion. The ruling reverses a First District Court of appeals decision, which would have allowed Rumpke to claim exemption from local zoning authority as a public utility. The decision rests on the fact that the landfill is not subject to public regulation of its rates and charges, is not obligated by law or regulation to accept all solid waste delivered to it for disposal and the public does not have a right to demand and receive its services, all criteria which true public utilities meet. Rumpke brought the suit against Colerain Township in 2006 after their request to expand the landfill – already the sixth largest in the nation- was denied by the township’s zoning board. Originally, the suit also included the assertion that the zoning board’s decision was unconstitutional, claiming it was an illegal prohibition of how the company may use its own land. The constitutionality issue was separated from the public utility claim by a lower court and now must be decided on its own merit.
— Melissa K. English, Development Director, Ohio Citizen Action.
Supreme Court holds private landfill is not a ‘public utility’ exempt from township zoning authority
— Dennis Whalen, Court News Ohio
— Carrie Whitaker, Cincinnati.com