State Supreme Court overturns Waimanalo Gulch landfill ruling

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii Supreme Court overturned a requirement on Friday that mandated the city's Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill stop accepting municipal solid waste later this year.

The ruling reflects 2009 testimony by the City before the Planning Commission that noted identifying and developing a new landfill site would likely take more than seven years. The city intends to do an extensive environmental analysis before making a recommendation.

Previously, the state Land Use Commission had required the landfill to stop accepting solid waste by July 31, 2012. The state Supreme Court believed that deadline to be "inconsistent with evidence in the record and not supported by substantial evidence."

In a statement, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle said that he was pleased with the ruling.

"No community wants a landfill in its back yard," Carlisle said, "But it's important to understand that our island will continue to need one for the foreseeable future to handle materials that can't be recycled, can't be turned into energy by the H-Power plant, or that result from a natural disaster."

The landfill will continue normal business operations as attorneys for the city review today's decision.

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