Prince George's County's legal efforts to halt construction of a multimillion-dollar sewage treatment plant in neighboring Montgomery County ended yesterday when the U.S. Supreme Court, without comment, declined to review the case.
The justices left intact lower court rulings that blocked Prince George's from suing Montgomery in state circuit court. Prince George's has been fighting in court for the last four years to stop contruction of a composting plant, scheduled to be completed in December 1982, in the Montgomery Industrial Park in Calverton. Prince George's officials have objected to the plant, to be located on an undeveloped 115-acre site adjacent to their county, on the grounds that it is too expensive and too close to residential areas in Prince George's.
"I just think it's a travesty," said Prince George's County Attorney Robert Ostrom of the court's action yesterday. "It the plant is a total waste of money and it's going to disrupt the lives of many citizens."
The legal controversy dates back to a 1973 lawsuit over the disposal of sludge, the solid waste from sewage treatment, from the Blue Plains sewage treatment plant in Washington. As a result of the suit, Montgomery, Prince George's and Fairfax counties and the District of Columbia were required to draw up sludge disposal plans. Montgomery selected the Calverton site for a plant to process its share of Blue Plains sludge into compost.
Prince George's sued Montgomery in state court to block construction of the plant. On June 27, 1980, U.S. District Judge John L. Smith ordered Prince George's to stop its litigation efforts. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling June 10, 1981.