Settlement talks in Waller County landfill suit

Here’s an update on where things stand with the litigation in Waller County over the proposed landfill outside Hempstead. A jury in December ruled that Waller County Commissioners Court violated Texas’ open meetings laws in deciding to allow the project to move forward, but the question of whether or not that made the landfill itself illegal has not been determined.


The plaintiffs – the city of Hempstead and a citizens group opposed to the project – were expected to ask the presiding judge Wednesday to decide outstanding legal questions in the civil case, including the validity of the county’s 2013 ordinance allowing the landfill, said Blayre Peña, an attorney for the citizens group.

However, the Jan. 21 hearing was postponed at the last minute in light of ongoing settlement talks.


“I’m hoping that by next week we get something that we can act on,” [Waller County Judge Trey] Duhon said.

If no settlement is reached, a hearing will be held Feb. 20 in retired state District Judge Terry Flenniken’s court.

See here for the background. If the end result is that the 2013 ordinance is invalidated and the landfill is barred, you can be sure there will be further litigation. Given Greg Abbott’s hostility to local control, one wonders if the state might get involved at that point. One way or another, this is a long way from over.

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