Superior courts weigh in on OSAH decision regarding Brantley County solid-waste permit
Docket Number: 2228917 , Decision Date: June 23, 2023
Attachment: Click here to download the decision.
Attachment: Click here to download the decision on appeal.
The Board of Commissioners of Brantley County appealed a decision by the state’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to grant a permit to Brantley County Development Partners, LLC. The permit would allow the company to operate a municipal solid-waste disposal facility in Brantley County. An OSAH Judge concluded the permit had been wrongfully issued, because the company had failed to submit a valid “consistency letter” for the proposed facility, which would show the facility would be consistent with the county’s local waste management plan. The OSAH Judge further concluded that she did not have jurisdiction over the claim that public notice and meeting requirements under O.C.G.A. § 12-8-26 had not been met.
The OSAH decision was appealed to three superior courts.
In the Superior Court of Bibb County, Case No. 2023-CV-078420, the superior court reversed the OSAH decision, holding that OSAH incorrectly imposed an “investigatory duty” on the EPD regarding the consistency letter.
In a separate appeal before the Superior Court of Brantley County, Case No. SUV2023000103, the superior court affirmed the OSAH Judge’s finding that she lacked subject matter jurisdiction to rule on the public notice and meeting requirements of O.C.G.A. § 12-8-26.
In a third appeal before the Superior Court of Ware County, Case No. SUV2023000180, the superior court denied the EPD’s motion to dismiss the Petition for Judicial Review for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The superior court also affirmed the OSAH Judge’s finding that she lacked subject matter jurisdiction to rule on the public notice and meeting requirements of O.C.G.A. § 12-8-26.
Update as of 10/11/2023: The Court of Appeals has granted Applications for Discretionary Appeal for the following cases:
Superior Court of Bibb County, 2023-CV-078420 (A24D0009)
Superior Court of Brantley County, SUV2023000103 (A24D0008)
Superior Court of Ware County, SUV2023000180 (A24D0015); notice of cross appeal also filed.