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Neighbors Drop Lawsuit Alleging 'Harmful' Nuisances At Napa County Compost Facility

SAINT HELENA (BCN) – A group of neighbors suing a Napa County compost and recycling company over odor, noise and other alleged nuisances have withdrawn their lawsuit, according to officials from Upper Valley Disposal Service.

The suit, filed in May and dismissed voluntarily by the plaintiffs last week, alleged the company's Whitehall Lane compost and recycling facility generated noise, odor and light pollution that was "pervasive, unhealthy, harmful and damaging."

In court documents and interviews, company officials denied all allegations and said UVDS is in compliance with all of its permits, is closely monitored by state and local agencies and follows "industry best practices with respect to safety, fire prevention, leachate prevention, and managing odor and noise issues."

"With this meritless lawsuit behind it, UVDS is looking forward to focusing its energy on the many climate change regulatory requirements facing California and on helping the Napa community lead in those efforts," the company said in a news release Monday.

Company officials, including its lawyer Richard Munzinger, said the neighbors dismissed the suit prior to a hearing in which UVDS planned to ask a Napa County Superior Court judge to compel them to give depositions on the merits of their claims.

"We're obviously thrilled about this and glad to not spend any more money," Munzinger said.

The company also alleged the case was filed to help St. Helena Mayor Geoff Ellsworth obtain "confidential internal financial" documents that could help him replace UVDS with another company as part of a "personal vendetta" against it.

The plaintiffs, their attorney and Ellsworth didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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