No trash fine

Published 10:02 pm Thursday, September 29, 2011

Selma city leaders were breathing a sigh of relief this week as they announced the Alabama Department of Environmental Management had decided not to issue a fine against the city for a makeshift, illegal dump.

Selma Mayor George Evans told members of the Selma City Council Tuesday, the state agency has given the city time to work up plans to clean up a 50-acre site near Landline Road in the Dallas County Sports Complex.

“We had a very productive meeting with ADEM officials and they have expressed their willingness to be flexible with us as we work to clean up this site,” Evans said.

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During the meeting, Evans said, city officials were told the agency did not plan to fine the city for establishing what turned out to be a landfill.

“They said we were fine with the intention of using the site for tree limbs, leaves and debris,” Evans said. “The problem came when it was discovered that garbage was mixed in with the trees and leaves.”

In mid-September, ADEM issued findings against the city saying, “the city of Selma is the operator of an unauthorized dump located off Landline Road,” and ordered “ the city of Selma shall submit an abatement plan within 30 days of the execution of this order … for review and approval.”

Evans said those abatement plans were due to the agency Thursday and have been submitted.

Those plans he said included two proposals, one that included the city leaving the debris and garbage at the site until two new cells can be built at the city’s landfill and another, more expensive, plan that would see the city remove the debris immediately, taking it to landfills in Uniontown or on Alabam Highway 41.

“The bids for construction the new cells were sent out this week and will be opened next week,” Evans said. “Once the bids are awarded and construction begins, they should both be completed within 60 days.”

Even if ADEM allows the city to wait on removing the debris from the Landline Road site until the new cells are constructed, the city will still need to begin separating the household and unapproved garbage from the piles of limbs, trees and leaves.
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