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Legal Hurdle Cleared For In Dispute Over Gar-Barge

June 3, 1987

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (AP) _ A judge has cleared away yet another legal impediment to the unloading of the trash on the internationally spurned garbage barge.

Justice Paul J. Baisley of state Supreme Court, New York’s trial-level court, said Tuesday that parties in the case had ″worked very hard ... and entered into a stipulation that has the potential to resolve the problem of the garbage barge.″

The lawyers agreed to lift a legal blockade preventing the refuse from winding up in a dump in Islip, where the trash’s odyssey began. They decided the garbage could be emptied into a portion of the Islip landfill that had not been shut down by the state.

The agreement also calls for any garbage from the barge to be thoroughly inspected as it is put in the landfill.

Baisley set a July 2 hearing for arguments on the effort by a citizen lobbying group, the New York Public Interest Research Group, to block a consent agreement between Islip and the state to allow the Islip landfill to be expanded.

The trash on the barge was not dumped in Islip originally because its landfill had been closed to commercial waste.

The town later reached an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to allow its landfill to be enlarged to accept waste until 1990.

Randall Weiner, attorney for the plaintiffs, said Tuesday’s agreement was worked out during heated discussions with the judge in chambers.

Mike Cahill, attorney for the town of Islip, said the expansion of the landfill was desperately needed in the next six months to prevent the town from having to ship garbage out again.

On Monday, Islip Supervisor Frank Jones had threatened to accept only about 40 percent of the barge’s 3,100 tons of waste, which is the percentage that he said came from commercial establishments in Islip. Most of the rest of the waste, he said, came from New York City.

The barge, meanwhile, remained in anchored off Brooklyn after its long journey of rejection by six states and three countries. It also added a new rejection Tuesday: New Jersey.

The barge had been told it could move to a federal anchorage site in the Hudson River off New Jersey. But that move was immediately protested by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and the barge stayed put.

Earlier, the garbage was rejected by North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Belize and the Bahamas.

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