Operator of inert landfill did not have vested right to permit.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Malihi 
Docket Number: 1729095 , Decision Date: 2017-09-25 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Under amendments to the regulations of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protections Division (“EPD”), owners and operators of inert landfills were required to either obtain a solid waste handling permit or a certification from a professional engineer stating that their facilities were in full compliance with “Permit by Rule” requirements as they existed on January 1, 2012.  After the Director ordered one such operator to cease operations at his inert landfill because he failed to abide by the amendments, the operator argued that he had a “vested right” in the Permit by Rule, and that the Director’s action deprived him of his constitutional rights.   The Court held that the operator did not have a vested right because (1) he failed to abide by the conditions of the Permit by Rule, as determined by prior EPD inspections, and (2) he could not allege a vested right in procedural requirements.