An umbrella group for neighborhood civic associations is hoping to add ammunition in the county's fight to block a proposed asbestos and rubble dump by adding its say to a lawsuit.

The Community Coalition of Harford County, acting as a "friend" of the county, has filed a legal brief in the state Court of Special Appeals. The coalition is represented by the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, which prepared the 10-page brief for free.

The brief, filed May 20, contends that Harford Circuit Judge Cypert O. Whitfill errored last October when he allowed Maryland Reclamation Associates Inc. to seek a state permit for a 68-acre dump near Havre de Grace.

Whitfill said in a Oct. 10, 1990, ruling that the County Council acted beyond its authority when it decided to take Maryland Reclamation's proposed dump near Webster out of the county's solid-waste management plan.

The council and seven citizens intervening in the case appealed the ruling to the state appeals court.

The coalition, which represents about 35 community associations in Harford, argues in its brief that the council acted within state laws when it removed the dump from the plan.

William D. Hooper Jr., a Bel Air attorney representing Maryland Reclamation, dismissed the brief, saying it includes no arguments that have not already been stated by the county.

Patricia Nimmerrichter, an Upper Marlboro attorney representing citizens opposed to the dump, welcomed the coalition's brief.She said it offers research of state laws that the court can use to reach a decision.

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