DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - Some black residents have filed a civil rights complaint over a Dothan landfill.
The civil right complaint was prepared Wednesday by Florida environmental attorney David Ludder on behalf of at least nine residents, the Dothan Eagle (https://bit.ly/20cnPAT) reported. The residents claim the landfill expansion is discriminatory toward black residents because African Americans comprise 89 percent of the population within 1 mile of the proposed expansion and 79 percent of the population within 1.5 miles.
If the EPA decides to conduct an investigation and finds ADEM was discriminatory in permitting the landfill expansion, the complaint asks the EPA to halt financial assistance to ADEM.
The complaint cites EPA regulations that prohibit any entities it financially assists from administering programs which “have the effect of subjecting individuals to discrimination .”
The 29-page complaint further states that ADEM first needs to show a substantial, legitimate interest that justifies its decision to permit the expansion.
. Second, even if that interest exists, it must show that an alternative would not have satisfied the interest without the alleged adverse impact on the minority population.
The landfill and the proposed expansion are located in east Dothan, not far from the Burkett Subdivision, just off Ross Clark Circle.
The names of the complainants are redacted on the complaint obtained by the Dothan Eagle.
District 1 Commissioner Kevin Dorsey and District 2 Commissioner Amos Newsome have consistently voted against resolutions connected to landfill expansion at the current site. Other commissioners have voted in favor of expanding at the current site.
A City of Dothan Public Works report stated other landfill alternatives were considered, but all were significantly more costly. Alternatives considered included the incineration of garbage, turning waste into energy, using a private landfill or garbage collection company and/or building the landfill at another site.
The city is currently hauling garbage to a landfill in Campbellton, Florida because the current landfill has reached capacity.
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