PARRISH, Ala.— A stinking trainload of human waste from New York City is stranded in a tiny Alabama town, spreading a stench like a giant backed-up toilet — and the "poop train" is just the latest example of the South being used as a dumping ground for other states' waste.
In Parrish, Alabama, population 982, the sludge-hauling train cars have sat idle near the little league ball fields for more than two months, Mayor Heather Hall said. The smell is unbearable, especially around dusk after the atmosphere has become heated, she said.
"Oh my goodness, it's just a nightmare here," she said. "It smells like rotting corpses, or carcasses. It smells like death."
...Alabama and other Southern states have a long history accepting waste from around the U.S.
A former state attorney general once described a giant west Alabama landfill as "America's Pay Toilet." It was among the nation's largest hazardous waste dumps when it opened in 1977. At its peak, the landfill took in nearly 800,000 tons of hazardous waste annually.
Plans to dump coal ash in Southern states have been particularly contentious. Each year, U.S. coal plants produce about 100 million tons of coal ash and other waste; more than 4 million tons of it wound up in an Alabama landfill following a 2008 spill in Tennessee.
In Parrish, the mayor hopes the material in the train cars is removed before the weather warms up.
"We're moving into the summer, and the summer in the South is not forgiving when it comes to stuff like this," she said.
Friday, April 20, 2018
The States Race to the Bottom in the Competitive Business of Biosolids
The languid Southern summer approaches: