"Tallassee, Ala., wants the agency to defend them from a landfill company, but residents say proposed rule changes would not be effective enough".
"Over the last 14 years, a landfill has been consuming Ronald Smith’s hometown.
The aptly named Stone’s Throw Landfill is situated in the leafy countryside of Tallassee, Ala. Around 4:00 a.m. most mornings, a processional of trash-transporting semis thunder over old local bridges, down narrow rural roads and past Smith’s home. Vultures perch on his neighbors’ roofs and feral dogs trot by to get to the refuse on the other side. What was once a family-owned junkyard for a community of a few hundred has now become one of the largest landfills in the state, accepting everything from household rubbish to blocks of asbestos to even septic sewage.
“Every landfill in the state of Alabama is in a Black community or in an economically depressed community,” said Smith, a 63-year-old pastor who returned to the neighborhood, known as Ashurst Bar, to care for his mother and defend his family’s property. “The whole reason they’re there is because the communities can’t defend themselves. It’s the path of least resistance.”"