South DeKalb communities prevail against Metro Green’s efforts to silence opposition to waste recycling facility

Renee Cail

Renee Cail, President of CHASE

 

STONECREST,GA— DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Tangela Barrie has ruled in favor of Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment (CHASE) by striking Metro Green’s claims against the group, holding that they amount to a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP).

SLAPP suits effectively prevent citizens and community groups from speaking out in opposition to a developer’s actions. Georgia has an anti-SLAPP statute that allows courts to strike these types of claims early in the litigation process.

The Southern Environmental Law Center filed the anti-SLAPP motion in order to protect CHASE’s First Amendment rights and to strike Metro Green’s claims seeking monetary damages for slander, libel, and tortious interference with contractual and business relations.

SELC and CHASE made the case that voicing concerns about the environmental effects of a solid waste handling facility across the street from and in the backyards of Black neighbors is protected under the U.S. Constitution. The motion also details issues with the manner in which Metro Green obtained its permit from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division after DeKalb County declined to provide the company with the necessary authorization.

“We are pleased with the Court’s decision to strike down Metro Green’s attempts to prevent CHASE, our members, and neighbors in Stonecrest and south DeKalb County from expressing valid concerns for our health and wellbeing,” said Renee Cail, President of CHASE. “It is past time for EPD Director Dunn to hear what we have been saying loud and clear—he must exercise his authority to correct this injustice and revoke the permit for this facility.”

“With this latest effort, Metro Green has tried and failed to silence surrounding communities in Stonecrest and south DeKalb County, who have already faced an uphill battle to have their voices heard in this case from the start,” said April Lipscomb, Senior Attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center. “We look forward to presenting our case that EPD Director Dunn must finally listen to CHASE’s concerns and act on their request to revoke Metro Green’s solid waste handling permit.”

The ruling follows a decision from the Court last month to grant CHASE’s motion for an injunction to halt Metro Green’s operation of a construction and demolition waste recycling facility in Stonecrest.

One comment

  • S

    November 15, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    Now that the Mayor is in legal limbo with the feds, I’m hoping this will be the beginning of the end for the further construction of Metro Greens Recycling Center.

    Seemingly, Mayor sold out on the homeowners .He didn’t care about their homes or their families.I got to view the sight of their construction. In my mind I was like ” What person in their right minds would literally build a recycling center in their backyards”? The answer,only people who want to drive the community from there and I don’t accept their anti pollution methods in their attempts of continuously building it.Im quite sure those same people from at a lab in Conyers and others from last year have promised the same but end up having an leakage/ explosion in which it left a 4 mile trail of smoke.

    When it comes to the prevention of natural disasters that can’t be guaranteed and when it comes to human beings industrial/ commercial buildings shouldn’t be near them.

    Reply

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