Infamous ‘Poop Train’ could roll back into West Jefferson County

Could 'Poop' trains return

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The poop train possibly rolling back into town is causing some elected officials and concerned residents from west Jefferson County to head to the state capital.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management is holding a hearing Tuesday January 7, to discuss the state overseeing the shipment of human waste from New York to West Alabama.

Monday afternoon, West Jefferson Mayor Charles Nix was enjoying the fresh air void of the smell of sewage, or his town of less than 500 people being overrun with flies.

The pungent smell traveled for miles, many neighbors described it as that of rotting flesh.

“Before it [sewage] was just spilled up and down our highway,” said Nix.

The problem has been an ongoing battle for the people who live around Big Sky Environmental landfill in nearby Adamsville.

In 2017, train carts from New York City loaded with human waste, also known as “biosolids”, were left on tracks while regulators worked through red tape to get it to the landfill.

“We’d call ADEM and they’d say, ‘we don’t regulate the hauling of it.’ We’d call and complain about the smell and they. 'oh we don’t regulate that,” explained Nix.

In 2018, Jefferson County enforced zoning laws banning the trains from being stored on tracks. Numerous complaints from residents forced The New York Department of Environmental Management to stop shipping the excrement South.

Some neighbors thought that was the end of it but Nix said, not quite.

“It’s considered fertilizer and that is a commerce, and they can not refuse it to come into the state,” said Nix.

So ADEM is called a hearing to make changes to the states solid waste program.

ADEM sent out a notice describing the changes and what the could mean for the state.

Revisions to the Division 13 are being proposed to adopt regulations for the
ADEM

Nix plans to attend the meeting and oppose the trains all together.

“We’d like to reach out to our neighbors in Adamsville and ask them {to help}. Those are the people who can refuse to accept the biosolids,” said Nix.

We reached out to several folks on the other side of this issue. We are still waiting to hear back.

The hearing will be will be held on Tuesday January 7, 2020, 1:30 PM in the Main Hearing Room at the ADEM – Central Office location at 1400 Coliseum Blvd. in Montgomery.

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