Denied Again

THE UNITED STATES Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has denied a petition filed by the Madison, Wis.-based GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN) for a rehearing on the organization's challenge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D) rule for landfills.

The court denied a rehearing by the three-judge panel that originally heard the case and a hearing en banc by the full 18-judge ensemble, according to the Silver Spring, Md.-based Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA).

In November, a three-judge panel of the court ruled that GRRN, which promotes a zero-waste philosophy of solid waste management and whose members consist of citizen activists and recycling professionals, does not have the legal standing to seek a review of the rule (see “Challenge Dismissed,” Waste Age, December 2005, p. 12). In the opinion that he wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel, Chief Judge Douglas Ginsburg said that GRRN had not demonstrated that the rule had caused or was about to cause any of the organization's members harm.

The EPA's rule, which was issued in March 2004, allows state directors of federally approved municipal solid waste landfill permit programs to issue RD&D permits to landfill operators to deviate from Subtitle D requirements for run-on control systems, liquid restrictions and final cover. However, the applicants must demonstrate that their plans will not increase the risks to human health and the environment. The rule is intended to allow landfill operators to test alternative operational technologies such as bioreactors and phytocovers.