St. Clair County residents lead protest in Montgomery about the ongoing landfill fire

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 10:10 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBRC) - Tuesday afternoon, residents in St. Clair County traveled more than 80 miles to protest at the Alabama State House in Montgomery calling on state leaders about the landfill fire that’s been burning since November.

Protestors say although they’re grateful for the work the EPA has done, they can still smell smoke and they’re concerned about what breathing this in for several months will do to their health. Some say they have underlying health conditions and they fear this ongoing fire will make it worse.

Residents like Michele Self say they are disappointed with the response from state leaders and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

Self says dealing with the fire has caused problems for her husband who has underlying health conditions.

“My husband has COPD from two types of cancer. He couldn’t go outside, he couldn’t go into the garage,” says Self. “The smoke was so thick half the time it was nothing, but it looked like fog. We got no answers. We got no help. It ruined our Thanksgiving and it ruined our Christmas.”

WBRC reached out to ADEM for a response about the protest. Here is a statement from Director Lance LeFleur:

ADEM continues to be concerned about those who had their lives upended by the fire at the vegetative waste disposal site near Moody. Their health and safety have been our top priority, which is why ADEM has worked with local, state, and federal partners to put the fire out as quickly as possible. Once the fire is out, ADEM will take enforcement action against the business operator. ADEM is also working with other government agencies to assess whether changes in laws, regulations, and resources are needed to more effectively respond to similar emergencies in the future.”

Get news alerts in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or subscribe to our email newsletter here.