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JUDGE RULES FOR RESIDENTS ON CONTAINERBOARD PLANT

Opponents of the Westfield Containerboard project are claiming a major victory. State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Ricotta of Dunkirk has ruled in favor of 25 Westfield residents who claimed the town violated New York's Environmental Quality Review Act when it rezoned 180 acres from agriculture-residential to light manufacturing.

Judith Habegger, one of the citizens who brought the lawsuit, told the County Legislature that Ricotta ruled the containerboard project, a cardboard recycling mill, must have a complete environmental review.

He also ruled the county Planning Department should have been given 30 days to review the change. Ms. Habegger called on the lawmakers to turn down creation of water and sewer districts for the plant.

The ruling will at least delay construction of the $210 million facility which was to start next year. Earlier Wednesday the county Industrial Development Agency approved an agreement with Containerboard for financing and tax breaks.

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