Canton Repository

July 19, 2003

Regula stops another landfill project

Copley Washington bureau

WASHINGTON — Using a maneuver that he first employed earlier this year, Rep. Ralph Regula has effectively stopped any progress on the proposed Indian Run Landfill in Sandy Township.

With help from fellow lawmakers, Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, included a provision in a spending bill that passed the House on Friday, which would bar the Army Corps of Engineers from evaluating the proposed landfill site through September 2004.

Without the Army Corps’ approval, the landfill can’t be built.

“I’m opposed to any new landfills in Stark County because we already have more than our share and our county can’t be the landfill capital of Ohio,” said Regula, a longtime member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. “And they’re already trying to expand the ones that we have in existence.”

Last February, Regula put similar language in another spending bill that effectively stopped the proposed Ridge landfill in Tuscarawas County by barring Corps action.

A prohibition only lasts for the yearlong duration of a spending bill, so Regula renewed the block on the Ridge landfill for another year in the legislation approved Friday.

A group of investors from Canton and Akron have proposed the Indian Run project, which is under consideration by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Local politicians and people who live near the site, which is northwest of Waynesburg, are opposed to the landfill.

Robert Konstand, a spokesman for the developers, did not return a phone call seeking his reaction Friday.

Opponents contend that the landfill could contaminate underground drinking water supplies.

Regula also earmarked funding in the bill for two projects he wants the Army Corps to undertake.

The legislation includes $1 million to improve flood control at the Zimber Ditch drainage basin north of Canton. It also sets aside $1.6 million to complete construction of a filter blanket to control seepage at Magnolia Levee, east of Bolivar Dam.

Regula expressed confidence the landfill prohibitions and the projects will remain intact when both houses of Congress act on the final appropriations bill later this year.