Judge rules: Camp Ripley needs county permits

Staff Writer

Minnesota’s Seventh District Court denied the county’s request for summary judgement in the legal case against the Minnesota National Guard and Gen. Richard Nash over Camp Ripley’s handling of solid waste.

Judge Weiler previously ruled that Camp Ripley is subject to the county’s solid waste ordinance in regards to requiring permits for its Type II demolition facility and its solid waste transfer station. Weiler said in this decision that it is not final, however.

In the denial of the county’s request, Judge Leonard Weiler said the county did not demonstrate there was no difference between how Camp Ripley handles the process of “land-spreading,” spreading petroleum contaminated soil so it bakes off and is remediated, and what the county would require.

Staff from Morrison County allegedly told Camp Ripley if a license was issued, the petroleum contaminated soil would be brought to the Morrison County Landfill, court documents said.

Camp Ripley’s land spreading has been licensed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) since 1991, and moving soil to the Morrison County Landfill would violate federal military regulations.

“Genuine issues of fact remain as to what plaintiff (Morrison County) requires beyond that which the MPCA already requires,” Weiler wrote in his decision.

Weiler said, however, Camp Ripley did need to acquire permits for its demolition facility and solid waste transfer station.

In his decision to issue a temporary injunction ordering those licenses, Weiler said there was more harm to Morrison County if the facilities were not licensed than to Camp Ripley if the facilities were licensed.

In his decision, Weiler quoted the case Rocksville Township v. Lang.

“There is apparent irreparable harm to a governmental unit by a continuous and knowing violation of that body’s duly promulgated laws and regulations,” that case states.

Weiler also weighed the fact that Camp Ripley had obtained permits for the facilities from 2003 to 2015.

Requiring Camp Ripley to get a permit from the county for the land spreading process was not included in the temporary injunction.

Morrison County does not comment on ongoing litigation, County Administrator Deb Gruber said, following a previous ruling denying the National Guard’s request for summary judgment.

A call to the Minnesota National Guard was not returned before deadline.

  • herbdavis

    “land spreading” upstream from a populated area makes almost no sense at all. Where do you think it goes? The aquifer or the atmosphere? It doesn’t matter, it will get the locals and others downstream…read: Little Falls!