An Alabama mayor is raising a big stink about a New York City 'poop train' that got dumped on her teeny town more than two months ago.
Heather Hall, mayor of Parrish, told the Associated Press that the stench coming from the train is "unbearable" and it gets even worse from the heat in the atmosphere at dusk.
"Oh my goodness, it's just a nightmare here," Hall said. "It smells like rotting corpses or carcasses. It smells like death."
What's the story?
The train carrying tons of waste was bound for Big Sky landfill, about 20 miles east of Parrish, but the process got backed up when the nearby town of West Jefferson filed an injunction to keep the mess out its town.
Since 2017, West Jefferson has been the transfer point for the excrement that goes from trains to trucks and finally hauled to the landfill.
In late January, West Jefferson filed a lawsuit to keep the sludge from stinking up its town.
The waste "smells of dead rotting animals as well as human waste," West Jefferson's attorney said in a lawsuit against Big Sky Environmental LLC. The community also became "infested with flies," the complaint said.
Since the injunction, the "poop train" hasn't moved from its spot near the little league baseball fields in Parrish.
"We're probably going to look at creating some simple zoning laws for the town of Parrish so we can be sure something like this does not happen again," Hall said.
The mayor said she's hopeful the waste will get moving soon.
"We're moving into the summer, and the summer in the South is not forgiving when it comes to stuff like this," she added.
Why is New York sending its waste to Alabama?
In the 1980s, the federal government stopped banned waste from being dumped in the Atlantic Ocean, which meant the state had to find somewhere else to unload the "biosolids" recovered from the sewage treatment process, said Eric Timbers, a New York City spokesman.
Alabama and other Southern states have been accepting waste from other states for decades.
Alabama has been "kind of an open-door, rubber-stamp permitting place" for landfill operators, said Nelson Brooke of Black Warrior Riverkeeper environmental group.
"It's easy for them to zip into a rural or poor community and set up shop and start making a ton of cash," he said.