HAMMOND, Ind. -- A federal judge has given his final approval to a class-action settlement calling for the operators of an Elkhart wood-recycling plant to clean up and shutter the site within five years.
U.S. District Court Judge Philip Simon on Monday approved the settlement of the lawsuit involving Soil Solutions Co. during a hearing in his Hammond courtroom.
Environmental attorney Kim Ferraro sued VIM Recycling on behalf of local residents in 2009, two years before the Elkhart plant was sold to Soil Solutions. The plant grinds scrap wood into animal bedding and mulch.
Residents near the plant allege its dust and other emissions threaten their health and keep them indoors. About 1,800 residents are part of the class-action lawsuit.
Among them is Wayne Stutsman, who calls the settlement "a great ending."