Something is very wrong in the Land of Cotton



Dr. Robert Bullard
Environmental Justice Movement Founder

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vox Populi in Conecuh County, Alabama--No Landfill

**Updated Feb 16 (see end of post)
WKRG--Dozens Protest a Proposed Landfill in Evergreen, Alabama. 
It would be located near Repton and would be the largest in the country
The people do not want this dump despite the continued push and a four year battle by certain interests and some local well-to-do influences who have been persistent in their push to make Repton the biggest stinking heap in the country. We have learned that there is a back story to this issue that's not been reported in the media.

A local Repton citizen tells us that a meeting occurred last July that was called by Representative Larry Miilender who invited local government leaders to meet and discuss how to "move Conecuh County forward." We were surprised to learn that an NAACP led group was in attendance at this meeting represented by Jerome Boykin which also included the former Mayor of Evergreen, Alabama, Larry Fluker and Reverend Freddie Stallworth.

They were all in agreement for the landfill according to our source, and we have to wonder what dog they have in the fight considering the NAACP has taken a position of environmental justice and worked against landfills in the past.

There weren't any other "groups" in attendance, so what was Rep. Millender's motive behind inviting the NAACP? We would ask the same question of any other group who would be invited to what was supposed to be a meeting of local government officials discussing ways to improve their community's economic status. It smacks of undue influence and Rep. Millender and his 'guests' should explain their real agenda.

We hope this isn't similar to the Perry County coal ash dump that was a scheme conceived and implemented  by minority Alabama officials, the Jones Group lobbying firm (minority owned and run) and the son of the late Civil Rights era leader Albert Turner, Sr. who all worked together against the good of Perry County's minority residents. If Alabama's minority citizens cannot count on 'their own' to protect them, then that's a sad state of affairs that speaks to bigger issues going on with the so-called champions of minority rights.

We think that is an under-reported issue that the press won't touch for fear of retribution by these powerful groups that will defend themselves by playing the always explosive race card.

Readers of this site know that we aren't shy about calling things the way they are, and if what you're doing is against any class of the people, we're going to call you out on it every time. The people will always come first in our view, not special interests or scurrilous politicians who are seeking personal enrichment over all people's rights to live and work in clean environments and have a strong voice in what happens to their communities.

The ongoing war against certain classes of people in Alabama, particularly in poor and economically depressed areas, which Repton is, deserves much more attention than it gets from Alabama's mainstream media. In addition to really examining what the state's role is in these unjust 'crimes' against Alabama's less fortunate. 

The state of Alabama is at the top of the list of egregious offenders through their supposed environmental management department ADEM, who enjoys fat profits from toxic entities that choose Alabama to dump on and pollute at their will knowing there won't be any strong repercussions from ADEM.

ADEM doesn't shut any environmental offender down no matter how many violations they rack up, and that list is growing longer every year. Instead, they occasionally bring enforcement violations against them that don't serve as any real deterrent as much as it does to further increase revenue for the agency.

They're in the business of profiting from pollution and are responsible in large part for Alabama the Beautiful becoming Alabama the garbage heap of the United States.

And with landfills, Alabama attracts the waste industry with some of the lowest fees in the country, which in turn, sends out a message to the waste industry that we're wide open and willing to accept all the toxic waste you can bring us.
Alabama's permitting process is part of the attraction. ADEM leaves most of the decisions about whether to allow a landfill to local governments, and the siren song of a quick and steady income source has proven attractive to county commissions and city councils statewide. Alabama is home to nine landfills that accept garbage from more than one state.
This "dumping on Dixie" attitude has gone very badly in the past. One word--Emelle.

The same thing will happen in Reston if this Conecuh Woods landfill comes in. What ADEM should do is deny the permit in the first place, but they're hiding behind the horribly written Alabama laws on landfills and giving the appearance of leaving it up to local government to decide. But that's a hiding in plain sight ploy, because they are fully aware that the laws are written to allow approval with a no vote.

Reston is in very real danger of becoming the second Emelle, and if we didn't learn anything else from the "Cadillac of Toxic Waste Dumps" we should learn that it is an idea whose time should not come again.

The people of Reston have spoken again and again. 
They do not want this landfill. 
Who's listening?

So Say We The Opinion Board Of The Vincent Alabama Confidential 

Letter to Region 4 EPA, November 9, 2010 outlining the problems with Alabama landfills 
**Update--Baldwin County has thrown its opposition the landfill in the ring. But they need to make their reasons clear--is it because of decreased revenues to their landfills or for the better reason that the landfill leakage will threaten their watersheds and communities?
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  1. Just proves what a lot of people already know, if you're poor and black in Alabama you're expendable. What an evil tradition the south continues to carry on, especially when it's brother selling out brother.

  2. I am ashamed to be a citizen of this state for so many reasons...what a pity that the rural folks are always the ones that the greed masters target first and foremost and the state aids and abets the dirty deals. Bentley putting Sparks back in charge of rural development is an absolute disaster that's already happened, remember Synagro?
    And you're right about no justice for the evil doers, Senator Pittman is a glaring example of what's wrong with the system.
    I feel sorry for you people in Repton. Really I do, but keep up the fight!

  3. NY Times March 6, 2010
    In the Aftermath of Ash Spill A New Round of Challenges

    After the spill, the T.V.A. started sending as many as 17,000 rail car loads of ash almost 350 miles south to the landfill in Uniontown, Ala. At least 160 rail shipments have gone out, said Barbara Martocci, a spokeswoman for the T.V.A.

    Since the environmental agency approved that plan, heavy rain has forced the Uniontown landfill to deal with up to 100,000 gallons of tainted water a day.

    Landfill operators first sent the water to wastewater treatment plants — a common way landfills deal with excess liquid — in two nearby Alabama cities, Marion and Demopolis.

    In January, after what the environmental agency said were unrelated problems with ammonia in Marion, the landfill started using a commercial wastewater treatment plant in Mobile, Ala., 500 miles from the original spill.

    A month ago, however, after a public outcry about discharging the treated water into Mobile Bay, that company refused to take more of the landfill water.

    In a landfill management plan presented to Alabama environmental officials, tanker trucks could haul the dirty water to a nonhazardous waste disposal site in Louisiana and to a public wastewater plant in Mississippi. The plan also says there are “negotiations under way” on taking it to an unspecified facility in Georgia.

    Environmental regulators and officials at the T.V.A. and the companies hired to take the ash declined to discuss the disposal problems.

    T.V.A.’s coal ash cleanup manager, Steve McCracken, and Ms. Martocci, the spokeswoman, referred disposal questions to a Knoxville contractor, Phillips & Jordan. So did the owners of the 977-acre landfill, Perry-Uniontown Ventures and Perry County Associates.

    Phillips & Jordan, which operates the Alabama landfill with its Phill-Con Services subsidiary, has a $95 million disposal contract with the T.V.A.

    In a letter to Alabama environmental officials, the landfill operators said they were trying to reduce the excess wastewater, partly by using lime and soil to solidify it.

    Federal and state environmental regulators have been involved only minimally with disposal of the landfill wastewater.

    Even though coal ash contains toxic materials, it is not considered hazardous waste.

    The Alabama Department of Environmental Management, which is paid $1 for each ton of the coal ash, monitors the landfill and has found no rules violations involving its excess water, said Scott Hughes, a department spokesman.

    Mr. Hughes said there were no restrictions on where the landfill sent the drained water, even to other states, as long as recipients had proper permits to treat it.

    In Demopolis, about 20 miles from Uniontown, officials failed to renew their wastewater treatment operating permit, but the wastewater plant has continued receiving the landfill’s drained fluids while operating under a special state order.

    Mr. Hughes said Thursday that new orders proposed additional monitoring of the wastewater at the landfill and allowed Demopolis to accept it. If arsenic and other pollutant concentration levels meet standards, he said, there is no limit to how much wastewater Demopolis can take.

    Demopolis is the only treatment plant in Alabama taking the landfill wastewater, Mr. Hughes said.

  4. This is a great interview featuring Dr. Robert Bullard on environmental injustice.
    What's missing from this interview is the fact that what happened in PC was the decision of a minority county commission.
    The NAACP has never come to PC to help the poor minority residents.
    The county commission president is the son of a former civil rights leader, so it's hands off of scrutiny because of who his father was.
    What happened in PC illustrates that black rights groups and the NAACP are hypocritical when it comes to Alabama.

    America's Waste Winds Up In Poorest Counties

  5. Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal:

    A "sellout" is a person who betrays something to which she is said to owe allegiance. When used in a racial context among African Americans, "sellout" is a disparaging term that refers to blacks who knowingly or with gross negligence act against the interest of blacks as a whole.

    Alabama is full of them and if they cannot find them in state they'll drag them in from other states like Jerome Boykin.
    Representative Millender has some explaining to do as do "his guests." I agree with that 100%!!!

  6. There is not one landfill in this state that is not leaking and poisoning our waterways! NOT ONE!
    But the state refuses to shut them down no matter what they do.
    There was a landfill in Moody, Alabama, Acmar operated by Veolia (who reps Veolia? Stephen Bradley)that was notorious with ties to organized NY crime. ADEM did not shut them down, they fined them instead. Nice.
    Here's the story:
    Alabama's Poor Fight NY Trash
    As for the NAACP, they have no business in Conecuh County's business. If they really want to help their own, they need to get their behinds down to Perry County and get brother Turner OUT!
    The citizens of that county are now going to pay for his defense on the assault charges against him because he has hired the County Attorney to represent him.
    He's the main reason black citizens in Perry County are suffering so badly. I bet Jerome Boykin is his buddy and so is the New South Coalition and the Southern Christian Leadership Council.
    You're all black Benedict Arnold's who are NOT HELPING YOUR PEOPLE as much as you're helping yourselves!
    You should be ashamed for the things you do AGAINST US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. The tendency of greedy pigs is that the more slop (money) you throw in the trough (landfill deal) the more that come squealing and looking for their share.

  8. I'm with you Spur.
    The more that comes out about this dirty deal the smellier it gets.


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