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Judge OKs class-action suit against recycler

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A federal judge has approved class-action status for a lawsuit alleging that a wood recycling plant's dust and other emissions pose a nuisance and a health threat.

The Elkhart Truth reports the judge's decision means the number of plaintiffs in the case could grow to about 1,700 neighbors near the Soil Solutions plant. About 150 residents near the Elkhart plant sued VIM Recycling in 2009, two years before the plant was sold to Soil Solutions.

Environmental attorney Kim Ferraro says class-action status means residents who cannot afford to "legally protect their rights to clean air and a safe home can take action to protect their homes and families."

Indiana regulators have taken several actions against the recycling plant, which grinds scrap wood into animal bedding and mulch.