Court Order Blocks Plan to Open Landfill County Claims Jurisdiction over Decisions

Article excerpt

St. Clair County officials have won a court order to halt - at least for now - plans for a regional landfill on a 256-acre tract adjacent to National City on the north edge of East St. Louis.

The order, signed by Circuit Judge Jan V. Fiss in Belleville, forestalled a public hearing the village had scheduled for 4:30 p.m. this past Monday to consider site approval for the project, dubbed NCE Waste Management Park.

A suit filed in the circuit court Monday by St. Clair County State's Attorney Robert B. Haida says the county is the appropriate body to decide on site approval, not National City, which has fewer than 100 residents.

Haida's assistant for environmental matters, Penni S. Livingston, claims in the suit that National City had agreed with the owners of the 256-acre tract to annex the site in exchange for $20,000 a year for 20 years. She says that agreement is not valid.

Attached is testimony by Michael S. Mitchell, county zoning administrator, who says the landfill proposal would violate the county's comprehensive plan in the neighborhood, which he refers to as North American Bottoms.

The plan calls for stabilizing and expanding the area's economic base by opening "entryways" from the Mississippi riverfront just to the west, Mitchell said.

For example, the plan calls for a new Mississippi River bridge from which over 100,000 cars a day would flow into the area, he said. …