The state Supreme Court in Richmond has denied an appeal by the town of Dumfries to overturn a Prince William County Circuit Court decision last spring that a local landfill operation is operating legally.

According to Dumfries zoning administrator Lee Lansing, J.V. Elrod of Woodbridge and Robert Davis of Richmond obtained a permit in 1983 from a former town official to fill the deep gulleys on the 83-acre site at nearby Battery Hill with land debris from the site itself. Instead, Lansing said, trucks from surrounding counties dump stumps, dirt, broken concrete and other debris there "all day long."

Residents of Grayson Village mobile home park brought their complaints of dust and noise to the Town Council early last spring. Town attorney Charles Sievers sought an injunction against the dumping in the lower court, arguing that the language of the permit did not allow debris to be brought to the site from outside the area. The court denied the injunction, saying the landfill permit was legal and the owners were using it correctly.

The state Supreme Court said there was "no reversible error" in the first hearing.

"Private enterprise has won out over the bureaucracy," said William May, an attorney who represents Elrod and Davis. "That town just doesn't want my clients to make money. They want to put them out of business." Each truck pays $35 to dump at the Battery Hill site. Although the face of the land will have to be "changed considerably," May said, his clients intend to develop it by building single-family homes on Battery Hill "some day."

The land is zoned for residential single family use.

Dumfries Vice Mayor Claude Thomas vowed that the fight to keep the dust and noise down will continue. "I don't know what the plan is yet," he said, "but we're going to get back to our attorney and see how we can solve this problem."

Much of the landfill material being carried in comes from a construction site at the Interstate 95 Dumfries exit, where workers are widening the road and rebuilding the bridges, Lansing said. To get to the landfill site, the trucks must drive in front of the mobile home park in a half circle to the back of the park, he said. May said his clients have a water truck on the premises and dampen the ground as often as possible.

Thomas said, "When I was campaigning last year, dust on those trailers was a half-inch thick. I promised I would try to help and we can't give up now."