An Indiana judge has dealt a serious blow to Lehigh Hanson’s Speed, Ind., cement plant's three-year push to burn hazardous materials, reported The Courier-Journal.
The plant, which was formerly owned by Essroc, failed to persuade Judge Susan L. Orth for the Clark County Circuit Court that Clark County zoning officials botched their handling of the controversial project.
Orth ruled the plant did not follow the proper administrative procedures before filing its lawsuit seeking to overturn a local zoning decision. She also found that the county had acted properly in the matter.
The proposal has been in dispute and disarray since the company proposed to burn hazardous waste in 2014, with the county at first allowing the practice under local zoning laws and later reversing itself after substantial public pressure.
The Courier-Journal reported in 1993 that Clark County commissioners banned the burning of hazardous waste within a mile of homes or businesses – excluding nearly all of the county. The plant is located closer than that to homes and businesses.
At a hearing last year, C. Gregory Fifer, an attorney who represented the company, called the ordinance a "sham."
The company would need to seek a variance and it has yet to do so, the judge ruled.