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E-M:/ Gravel pit set for day at Supreme Court in filing over EPA land claim

METAMORA TWP. - Of all places, this rural township - and a gravel pit - will be front and center at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Jeff Haynes, an attorney for John R. Sand & Gravel Co., will face off against Malcolm L. Stewart, assistant to the solicitor general in a dispute that could influence thousands of other federal cases.

John R. sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2002 after it fenced off 40 acres of the company's leased 160 acres without paying a dollar to the gravel company in compensation.

The fencing followed a Superfund cleanup of a municipal landfill on the site. The dump operated from the 1960s to 1980 and was identified as a hazardous waste site.

What won't be decided when the court issues its ruling on the case, expected early next year, is whether the EPA must pay for the land it confiscated from the company.


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