Groups petition to remove ADEM’s hazardous waste program

For more information, contact:
Adam Snyder (205) 533-6178
David Ludder (850) 386-5671
Jo Evers (251) 282-9941

For Immediate Release:
December 17, 2007

Conservation Alabama and the Citizens for a Clean Southwest Alabama have filed a petition with the federal Environmental Protection Agency to remove the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s (ADEM) authority over its hazardous waste program.

The petition stems from the controversy circling for months around the Timberlands Landfill in Conecuh County and ADEM’s handling of the situation. ADEM allowed Timberlands, a landfill permitted only to hold construction debris and typical household trash, to accept hazardous waste from the Olin, Inc. facility in Mobile County earlier this year.

“This is a major step we didn’t want to have to take, but this was the only option left to us to find clarity on this issue,” said Adam Snyder, executive director of Conservation Alabama. “We fear that if ADEM can permit hazardous waste at Timberlands, the same could happen at any landfill in Alabama.”

In mid-September, EPA Region 4 in Atlanta concurred with ADEM’s decision.  David Ludder, attorney for the petitioners, filed the petition to obtain a definitive determination from EPA headquarters in Washington on whether ADEM was wrong to have allowed the Olin waste to be disposed of at the Timberlands landfill.

“If ADEM is allowing the unlawful disposal of hazardous waste in municipal landfills, that practice must be stopped,” Ludder said.  “The petition filed with EPA headquarters should definitively resolve the dispute.”

Conservation Alabama is a non-partisan, political non-profit that works in the areas of legislative lobbying, non-legislative advocacy, and outreach and communications. We seek to achieve a healthier citizenry, economy, and environment by making sound public policy a political reality in Alabama.

Citizens for a Clean Southwest Alabama works for the preservation of the environment and protection of human health for the benefit of its members and the public-at-large.

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