Middle Point Landfill Responds to Litigation from City - Filing Two Motions to Dismiss Lawsuit

Oct 07, 2022 at 12:46 pm by WGNS News

Above: Email that was sent by Republic Services to a variety of residents, businesses in community. (Right) Letter sent to WGNS.

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TENN - Shortly after the City of Murfreesboro moved forward with a federal lawsuit against the operators of the Middle Point Landfill, the operators of the landfill released a written response to the community addressing some of the concerns of the city. The statements provided by Republic Services show that Middle Point filed two motions to dismiss the lawsuit, calling it frivolous – as seen below. CLICK HERE to read the letter from Counsel for Middle Point Landfill to Rutherford County. 

(Released by Republic Services / BFI Waste Systems of TN, LLC on Oct. 7) – Today, the Middle Point Landfill filed two motions to dismiss in response to the frivolous lawsuit filed by the City of Murfreesboro against the landfill. In litigation filed in August by the City of Murfreesboro in federal court in the Middle District of Tennessee, the City raised numerous unfounded allegations. Among those allegations are statements that the landfill is discharging PFAS into the East Fork Stones River. PFAS is a “forever chemical” frequently found in municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) sludge, like that of the City of Murfreesboro’s own WWTP.


The motions filed with the Court today will demonstrate two fundamental flaws with the City’s lawsuit. First, laboratory analytical data collected from the City of Murfreesboro’s WWTP sludge demonstrates that the City itself is a significant source of any PFAS found in the Middle Point Landfill. The City has disposed of this sludge, for free, for over two decades. This ongoing, free disposal of PFAS contaminated sludge from the City of Murfreesboro is itself a source of the alleged contamination in the lawsuit brought by the City. Taxpayers are now stuck funding a politically motivated lawsuit that has no foundation in truth, and is in fact, the result of the City’s own negligence.

Second, the City has also, intentionally or otherwise, implicated Rutherford County and potentially increased taxpayer liabilities for citizens of Rutherford County. The City has made baseless allegations about a so-called “spring discharge” of contaminants into the East Fork Stones River. However, the location of this discharge is upgradient of the Middle Point Landfill. Groundwater flow at the Middle Point Landfill is not toward this discharge. The more likely source of this discharge is the adjacent Rutherford County Landfill, which is directly next to the alleged contamination and has historically failed to sufficiently collect leachate from their unlined landfill. Additionally, the Rutherford County Landfill sits adjacent to the Middle Point Landfill. The Rutherford County Landfill has, for decades, discharged leachate free of charge into the Middle Point Landfill on-site pre-treatment plant, for pre-treatment and ultimate disposal. The City seeks to terminate Middle Point Landfill’s ability to discharge leachate, which inherently removes Rutherford County Landfill’s ability to discharge leachate to the Middle Point Landfill as well. This leaves the County with the added cost of disposing this leachate elsewhere.

The Middle Point Landfill takes pride in being a good neighbor and responsible operator. Since 2021, the site has invested $7.5M in their gas collection and control system, including installation of 84 new gas wells, and nearly 4,000 linear feet of horizontal collectors. Additionally, the site invested $2.5M into the onsite pre-treatment plant to treat leachate from the Middle Point and Rutherford County landfills. Mike Classen, General Manager for Post Collection Operations said, “We are doing everything in our power to continue responsible site management. We are proud of the improvements we’ve made here at Middle Point Landfill, and look forward to continuing to invest in our community.”

A hearing on the filed motions has not been set. You can track the filings on the Middle District of Tennessee website here.

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