Starlink Logistics, Inc. v. ACC, LLCAnnotate this Case
After its closure, a landfill continued to discharge contaminants into a creek that ran into a lake on adjoining property. After several failed remedial measures, ACC, LLC (ACC), the landfill owner, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation agreed to a plan to abate the discharge. The plan required ACC to divert water from entering the landfill and, within a four-year period, to remove and relocate the landfill waste. StarLink Logistics, Inc., the landowner of the property on which the lake was located, objected to the plan. The Tennessee Solid Waste Disposal Control Board approved ACC’s plan of action. The trial court affirmed. The Court of Appeals rejected the Board’s decision and remanded the case to the Board to explore more options. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Court of Appeals misapplied the arbitrary and capricious standard and instead substituted its judgment for that of the Board. Remanded.
Authoring Judge: Chief Justice Sharon G. Lee
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Carol L. McCoy
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.