- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) - A large landfill in eastern Kentucky will be downsized under an agreement in a lawsuit filed by a citizens’ group against the company and local and state officials.

The agreement on the Big Run Landfill was reached Tuesday, local media outlets reported. In June, a citizens’ group sued the company and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, arguing the measures that expanded the landfill 10 years ago weren’t constitutional.

Under the agreement, Big Run will transition from a mega-landfill to a regional one, accepting waste only from Boyd County and nearby counties. Trains will stop bringing trash to the landfill by next June and some parts of the dump will be closed by September.

“It’s a good day for the residents of Boyd County,” said Kenny Messer, an Ashland area resident and board member of Citizens of Boyd County Environmental Coalition, Inc., which had pressed for more than a year to shut the dump and stop the trains.

“This agreement now gives our county the necessary privileges and oversight” of having a landfill within its jurisdiction,” Sean Borst, another CBCEC board member, said.

A River Cities Disposal vice president, Scott Cunningham, said the company is “firmly committed to ensuring that Big Run conducts business in a responsible and responsive manner while continuing to have a positive economic impact on this region.”

Judge-Executive Steve Towler said he hopes the agreement will address the environmental and odor problems, but keep the landfill’s contributions to the local economy.

The Courier-Journal reported (https://cjky.it/1NP7zzd) that the dump has racked up more than 1,000 odor complaints and dozens of violations in the last two years.

State officials say Big Run is Kentucky’s largest landfill and the only one in the state that imports waste by train.

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