- The Environmental Protection Agency will investigate residents' charges that the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) discriminated against the city of Dothan's predominantly African American community in awarding a permit for expansion of the city landfill. Residents claim there were alternative garbage disposal methods, according to the Dothan Eagle.
- Specifically, the EPA has agreed to determine if ADEM discriminated on the basis of race/color through the modification of the solid waste disposal permit and by authorization to expand the landfill in violation of the Civil Rights Act and EPA’s own regulation, and if ADEM is complying with a procedural safeguard that requires recipients of EPA financial assistance to have specific policies and procedures that comply with their non-discrimination commitment.
- ADEM is required to respond to the complaint within 30 days.
African Americans comprise 89% of the community within one mile of the landfill and make up 79% of the demographic within 1.5 miles of the site. If the EPA finds ADEM was discriminatory against these residents, the suit calls for the agency to cut off financial assistance to the state agency for the project.
The residents want the ADEM to show a clearly legitimate interest to justify the expansion, and to also show that there is no better alternative that would not negatively affect the community.
Alabama has faced other civil rights cases around its landfills including tied to Arrowhead Landfill — Alabama's largest waste site, located in Uniontown — and Stone’s Throw Landfill, located in Tallassee.