- In 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed to investigate a civil rights complaint surrounding the permitting of a landfill in Tallassee, AL, where 98% of residents are African American. Now, environmental law group Earthjustice has filed a lawsuit against the EPA alleging that nothing has been done.
- The suit said the Stone’s Throw Landfill fouls the air, attracts pests and creates traffic congestion with dump trucks on rural streets.
- EPA’s Jennifer Colaizzi said the agency does not discuss ongoing litigation.
The original complaints to the EPA involved "discrimination by the states in granting permits that subject already overburdened low-income communities of color to more big-polluting facilities," according to an Earthjustice news release. Earthjustice alleges an "unreasonable delay" by the EPA in enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin by entities that receive federal funding.
This isn’t the first time civil rights issues have been raised about the siting of landfills in Alabama.
The Stone’s Throw Landfill has remained open since the EPA accepted the complaints in 2005. Residents deserve a timely consideration of their complaints as well as a full accounting of how landfill permits are issued.