Over the nearly 15 years since the Stone’s Throw Landfill opened in Tallassee (in Tallapoosa County), Alabama, Ashurst Bar/Smith residents—many of whom can trace their family land ownership back to the early 1800s—have complained that their lives have been ravaged by the Landfill’s multiple and cumulative impacts. These impacts include Black land loss, health issues, reduced quality of life, and water, soil, and air pollution, among many others. Most recently, LDF and Earthjustice have responded by submitting a letter, vigorously opposing the request by the Tallassee Waste Disposal Center Inc. (TWDC) to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) to renew the Landfill’s permit. Our primary objection is that neither ADEM, the permitting agency, nor the Tallapoosa County Commission, which sited the Landfill in this historic Black community, has ever analyzed and considered the devastating effects of the Landfill on the majority-Black community living most proximate to the Landfill.
Moreover, LDF, along with Earthjustice, represents the Ashurst Bar/Smith Community Organization (ABSCO), which is dedicated to opposing the Landfill, in its Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 administrative complaint against ADEM for permitting this Landfill to continue to operate in Tallassee, despite that the Landfill has a disparate and discriminatory impact on Black residents of the Ashurst Bar/Smith community. As a recipient of Title VI federal funding, LDF and Earthjustice contend, on behalf of ABSCO, that ADEM and/or the Tallapoosa County Commission have an obligation to meaningfully consider the impact of the Landfill on the historic, majority-Black Ashurst Bar/Smith community in Tallassee before siting and permitting the Landfill to operate.
Click here to learn more about LDF and Earthjustice’s civil rights advocacy on behalf of this historic Black Alabama community.