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Scott E. Mollen Scott E. Mollen

Environmental—Plaintiffs Plausibly Alleged Landfill’s Emissions Were More Than Mere Annoyance and May Contain Dangerous Chemical Compounds—NYC Agreement To Ship Municipal Waste—Private Nuisance and Trespass Claims Dismissed—Claims of Violation of Air Permit Under Clean Air Act, Violation of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and Common Law Obligations Arising From Operation of Landfill Were Sufficiently Stated —Trespass—Negligence—Gross Negligence—Abstention Doctrines—Government Functions Immunity

Plaintiffs commenced an action against a waste management company (WM) and New York City (NYC), alleging violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Air Act (CAA) and common law obligations arising from WM’s operation of a landfill and NYC’s agreement with WM (NYC Contract) to ship “hundreds of thousands of tons of municipal waste” (MSW) to the landfill each year for 30 years. WM and NYC had moved to dismiss an amended complaint. WM’s motion to dismiss was granted as to claims for private nuisance and trespass, but was otherwise denied and NYC’s motion to dismiss was denied.

Plaintiffs alleged that the landfill’s operations “prevented the quiet use and enjoyment of their property by emitting noxious odors and excess fugitive emissions, creating an environment conducive for the spread of vector species, and causing noise and tremors.” The plaintiffs cited “increased populations of rats, mice, and flies within…nearby properties.” Plaintiffs asserted that several landowners were considering selling their homes, some had done so and others “sought mental health counseling.”

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