PORTLAND, ORE. (CN) – Grabhorn Inc., owner of the widely criticized Lakeside Reclamation Landfill in Beaverton, claims that unknown people and corporations conspired to dump dangerous chemicals in the landfill and film the incident to make Grabhorn look guilty of violating environmental laws. Although not listed as a defendant, an outspoken critic of the landfill, Art Kamp, delivered photographs of the waste disposal to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, according to the federal lawsuit.
“The defendants intended the filmed activities to be reported to ODEQ to purport that plaintiff allowed waste haulers to illegally dispose of solvents and paints,” the lawsuit states. “The representations made by defendants were intended to damage the business reputation of plaintiff.”
Kamp, a retired Dow Chemical engineer who lives near the landfill, delivered photos of the alleged illegal disposal in September 2007 and said he has also video footage of the disposal, according to the lawsuit.
Neighbors of the landfill, including longtime Oregon wine producer Ponzi Vineyard and the Friends of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, have fought to shut down the Lakeside Reclamation Landfill for many years.
The unlined landfill, which sits just upstream of the Tualatin River and accepts mostly construction waste, started accepting trash in 1957. According to the Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality, the landfill allows pollutants to enter groundwater. Grabhorn denies that the landfill harms the environment.
In 2007, ODEQ issued a permit that requires the landfill to stop accepting trash by July 2009 – three years earlier than Grabhorn had hoped.
Grabhorn seeks damages for costs to clean up the hazardous waste that the conspirators allegedly dumped, and damages for defamation and libel. Grabhorn also seeks punitive damages. It is represented by Darin Honn and George McKallip Jr. with Sussman Shank.