Starlink Logistics, Inc. v. ACC, LLC, et al

Starlink Logistics, Inc. v. ACC, LLC, et al

After its closure, a Class II landfill continued to discharge contaminants into a creek that flowed into a lake located on adjoining property. Following years of investigations and multiple failed remedial measures, the landfill owner and the state agency with authority to direct landfill cleanup operations agreed that the most feasible, practical, and effective way to abate the discharge was for the landfill owner to divert water from entering the landfill and, over a four-year period, to remove and relocate the landfill waste. The neighboring landowner of the property on which the lake affected by the discharge was located objected to the plan, arguing that the landfill owner should also be required to treat or divert water leaving the landfill site. The Tennessee Solid Waste Disposal Control Board (“the Board”) heard the case and approved the landowner’s plan of action and did not require diversion of the water leaving the landfill. The neighboring landowner appealed, and the trial court affirmed the Board’s decision. The Court of Appeals, dissatisfied with the ruling, remanded the case to the Board to take additional proof on whether the neighboring landowner was willing to pay for the costs of diverting the discharge, the costs of implementing the diversion option, and the landfill owner’s ability to pay for the diversion plan. We granted the Board’s application for permission to appeal. We hold that the Court of Appeals failed to properly apply the judicial review provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated section 4-5-322(h) (2011) and substituted its judgment for that of the Board. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed. 

Authoring Judge: 
Chief Justice Sharon G. Lee
Originating Judge: 
Chancellor Carol L. McCoy
Date Filed: 
Monday, May 9, 2016