Sunday, June 29, 2014


 Residents don’t need more landfill traffic

Tuscaloosa News Editorial 
Published: Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 27, 2014 at 6:50 p.m.
It’s not surprising that the Tuscaloosa County Commission didn’t immediately make a decision with regard to allowing Eagle Bluff Landfill in Holt to triple the amount of debris that it’s taking in. Competing interests make the decision a very difficult one.

The owners say demand for the landfill’s services jumped dramatically with the April 2011 tornadoes. That’s not surprising given the amount of destruction throughout the city. Once all of that debris is scooped up and loaded into the back of a dump truck, it has to go somewhere. But it is surprising that more than three years after the storms, the demand hasn’t subsided.

All construction creates debris, and there is plenty of construction underway in Tuscaloosa County. Much of it is only tangentially related to the storms now, as most of the clearing and replacement are complete. Construction continues in some of the area where the tornado struck, but it’s also going on elsewhere.

The boom in student housing may have more to do with current demand for landfill space than tornado cleanup. How much longer that boom will continue, we can’t say. But we doubt that landfill space will be the determining factor.

Landfills really don’t belong in the middle of residential neighborhoods. If Holt was within an incorporated municipality, Eagle Bluff probably wouldn’t be there. That’s one of the paradoxes of unincorporated urbanized areas.

However, the landfill is located in a residential area and has been for more than two decades. The people living near it aren’t asking the County Commission to close the landfill, just to maintain the current cap of 1,000 cubic yards a day.

Most of the problems arise more from the traffic to the landfill than from the landfill itself. As the owners point out, this is a construction debris landfill, not one for household garbage. For the most part, it isn’t creating foul odors or attracting vermin.

However, the trucks loaded with debris do create problems with mud and dust. It’s difficult to drive on and off construction sites without getting muddy. That’s just the nature of construction.
And some of what the trucks carry creates dust as well. Trucks tracking mud and dirt onto small, residential streets is bound to create dust problems for residents.

Residents would likely look more favorably on the landfill capacity expansion if the trucks loaded with debris weren’t rumbling down their neighborhood streets. We can’t argue with trucks using Crescent Ridge Road, a major thoroughfare. But the neighborhood streets accessing the landfill aren’t really appropriate for truck traffic.

The owners say there isn’t a way to build alternative access to the landfill. Given that, it would seem unwise to increase the amount of debris the landfill can accept daily and thus, the number of trucks carrying it through residential streets.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Advanced Disposal Landfill... Public Nuisance

Public Nuisance 

By John L. Wathen

Advanced Disposal Landfill / public nuisance
A hearing will take place Wed. June 25th in conjunction with the Tuscaloosa County Commission's normally scheduled Commission meeting in the Commission Chambers at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse.

The hearing is to address the request by Advanced Disposal Landfill in Holt to increase the waste load entering the landfill by 3 times. To-date, they are allowed to accept 1,000 cubic yards per day. They are requesting an increase to 3,000 cubic yards per day.

If this were a remote location with little residential contact I wouldn’t have a problem but this isn’t the case. Crescent Ridge Road in Holt is the direct path for every trash truck entering the landfill. All turn onto 12th street that is barely wide enough for 2 cars, let alone scores of huge trucks. These are not little pickup trucks with a load of leaves. They are large trucks with trash bins carrying many yards of debris from current construction as well as demolition of buildings. Some built long ago when asbestos and lead based paints were used.

If these things were covered properly and not tracked back into the community there would be less reason for concern. That isn’t the case either.
Advanced Disposal "Mt. Trashkaloosa" seen from Holt Peterson Rd. 03/13/14
The landfill has grown tremendously over the years to a mountain of garbage known to us here as Mt. Traskaloosa. Since 2006, I have documented thousands of potential violations of the Clean Water Act, which were reported to the Alabama Dep. of Environmental Management (ADEM) time after time. ADEM, as usual, has chosen to ignore the chronic nature of the violations and taken no action to curb the ongoing problems.
Landfill discharge to Hurricane Creek
The height of Mt. Traskaloosa makes it an eyesore from all over the community. Bright orange dirt piles resembling scars on the earth, uncovered for weeks on end with blowing garbage. Large sheets of plastic sheeting have been video taped leaving the fill and landing over 100 yards on private lands. Neighbors constantly complain of trash blowing in their yards and into Hurricane Creek. Dust laced with fiberglass insulation and many other dangerous particles are seen regularly spreading across the area. Holt Elementary School is a scant 1,500 feet from the landfill.
ADLF aerial view. Flight provided by SouthWings
ADLF dust and wind blown trash
If the dust created by the mountain of trash weren’t bad enough, the huge trucks entering and leaving the landfill track vast amounts of mud onto 12th street which creates environmental issues for Hurricane Creek, Unsafe driving conditions on 12th street, but more importantly, it creates health and safety issues for the community.

When the mud dries, it becomes a dust cloud that is within 20 to 30 feet from residences. In one case, the road is just 15 feet from a person’s living and dining room. The trucks are driving through all sorts of debris containing solvents, adhesives, old carpet, concrete dust and rubble, paint, and sheetrock debris, plus many more things people are not supposed to breathe on a concentrated level.

The residents along 12th street literally have to stand in the street to check the mailbox. When the trucks became a problem due to congestion, the past County Commission made the problem worse by paving the street wider. Now some of the mailboxes are actually hanging over the pavement making for extremely dangerous living conditions.
Trash truck on 12th street
Big trucks, Little cars, Narrow streets = unsafe driving conditions
Hundreds of photo-documented events have been sent to ADEM with no deterrent action taken since as far back as 2006. Many are a matter of record at ADEM and can be accessed online, however their records do not reflect all of the complaints do to changes in owners.

When the landfill was installed many years ago, it was a small hole in the ground and meant to be used for construction and demolition debris (C&D). When locally operated the landfill there was a better sense of community effort on his part to work with the people impacted. If there were issues, I am told they worked them out as a good neighbor would. After they sold the property to an out of state company it changed, much for the worse.

With each change of hands over the years it has grown to be a substantial nuisance to the community. The current owners, Advanced Disposal are my opinion the worst yet.

I met with a representative of the landfill in June of last year by accident and told him of my intentions to file a complaint if conditions didn’t improve. I was met with a friendly invitation from officials in Florida to work with them to address the issues I had. Later, after several friendly email and phone conversations, I met them unexpectedly around the landfill property the local manager of the facility met me with aggression and threats. I was later served with a trespass notice. That’s not how good neighbors work together.

ADEM did step in with a notice of violation in Nov. 2013, which still today hasn’t been enforced. Every complaint sent to ADEM was forwarded to the landfill to evaluate and make excuses for their chronic problems. Some have been addressed but many, such as the offsite tracking are still as bad as ever.

Street sweepers normally used for litter are used to sweep the mud into the ditches and drainage's along 12th street. Since none of the machinery used was designed to pick the mud up, it only spreads much of it into a fine particulate dust that stays in the air long after the huge trucks stir it up. Using a time-lapse camera on Feb 17, 2014, I documented as many as 73 big trucks in a matter of just 2 hrs, 42 minutes. That comes to roughly 1 truck every 2.2 minutes.

According to a recent Tuscaloosa County Engineers traffic count that number was overwhelmingly proven.
In 1 week the actual count was as follows:

The average daily traffic for the week is 240 vehicles per day

A total of 1675 vehicles were counted for the 7 day study

Looking at the hours from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm only,  the average daily for that range is 234 vehicles per day

A total of 1634 vehicles were counted for the week using that range of hours.

Those same trucks track mud and dust onto graves in the Chambers Cemetery. The cemetery long pre-dates the landfill but no one seems to care except the ones who have family there. Funerals have been interrupted, dusted, and literally blocked in by trash trucks. Some drivers even blow the horn when they pass people there with no respect for the living or the dead.
Grave next to 12th street, just outside Advanced Disposal Landfill
June 11, 2014
Now, remember the reason for this letter. They can’t control the problems at 1,000 cubic feet per day. How is it that anyone in authority can think it will get better with an increase of three times the waste on this tiny residential street? Instead of 234 vehicles per day, imagine 700 vehicles per day, or more than 1 per minute rolling right outside your living room window.

Please consider attending the County Commission Meeting on June 25thth at 9 AM in the Commission Chambers at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse to voice your concerns for this increase that will certainly have a more negative impact than ever.

If we are to ever grow Holt into a thriving community after the Apr. 27th 2011 tornado, it shouldn’t be with Mt. Trashkaloosa as the main attraction.

Mt. Trashkaloosa, Advanced Disposal Landfill. (Flight provided by SouthWings)
Check out the video below to get a feeling of what it's like living next to a public nuisance in many opinions around the Holt Community

Holt landfill operator seeks to triple capacity

Nearby residents oppose request, citing traffic, safety

Landfill (From Tuscaloosa News)
A Rumsey Environmental waste truck makes it's way down 12th Street toward the Eagle Bluff Landfill to dump a load of debris on Wednesday June 18, 2014. Advanced Disposal has proposed a volume increase for the landfill from 1000 yards of construction debris a day up to 3000 yards per day. The Eagle Landing landfill receives debris from the city's of Northport and Tuscaloosa, the Tuscaloosa Department of Transportation, and the Alabama Department of Transportation. The Tuscaloosa News | Erin Nelson
Tuscaloosa News
Published: Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 10:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:04 p.m.
The owners of a construction and demolition landfill in Holt are seeking approval from the Tuscaloosa County Commission to triple the amount of debris that can be brought in each day.
Local residents aren't happy about the request. The only way in and out of the dump is a two-lane residential road — 12th Street Northeast — lined by small homes and trailers.
“It's enough as it is, with trucks coming in and out too fast throughout the day,” said resident Crystal Curry, while her young daughter played on a scooter in the yard.
Advanced Disposal, which owns the Eagle Bluff landfill, has requested a modification of its permit to increase the intake at the landfill from 1,000 yards of construction and demolition debris a day to 3,000 yards per day.
The reason for the request is the huge demand with all the demolition and construction projects going on in Tuscaloosa, said Mary O'Brien, chief marketing officer for Advanced Disposal. There are only two landfills specifically for construction debris in Tuscaloosa County.
“Luckily for Alabama, the economy is coming back, and there is definitely a greater need for the services (we) provide, for the environmentally safe disposal of construction debris.”
The landfill's customers include private companies as well as the city of Northport and the Tuscaloosa Environmental Services Department. The city of Tuscaloosa used to dump debris at the landfill only twice a week, but it now bring loads four times a week, O'Brien said. The dump does not take any kind garbage other than construction or demolition debris.
“The economy is now stronger and the demand for our services has grown,” O'Brien said.
The actual landfill is not increasing its footprint or its size, she said. For every yard that is disposed at the landfill, 25 cents is also paid to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. If 1,000 yards a day is brought in year round, that totals to about $65,000 back to the state. If the increase is approved, that could mean up to $195,000 a year back to the state.
The landfill is permitted by the state to fill up to 455 meters above sea level, and is currently at 388 meters.
State Rep. Bill Poole, R-
Tuscaloosa, who was present for a hearing on the request Wednesday, said he supports the proposal based on the cost-benefit to the community as a whole, he said.
“I think there is clearly a need for the additional capacity,” Poole said. “I think it's appropriate and a needed request and will serve our community well.”
But residents of 12th Street in Holt don't see it that way. The landfill, which is located a half mile behind Holt Elementary, is surrounded by older homes, with many elderly residents.
“Some of those trucks been going 40 miles per hour through here, blowing up all kinds of dust,” said Theodore Maynor, who is in his 90s.
The speed limit on the road is 25 miles per hour. According to a county traffic study, the average speed of the traffic on the road is 28 miles per hour, with an average traffic count of 240 vehicles a day. The street is one way in and one way out, with the landfill at the end of the street.
“It's too much traffic going down now, we don't want it to be even more,” Maynor said.
Maynor's neighbor, Tareq Lowe, said he's had to replace his mailbox three times and replace his trash can twice because they were hit by the trucks going to the landfill. The traffic has gotten worse, he said, especially since after the April 27, 2011, tornado. His home has been in his family since the 1960s.
“I can't put my trash can out by the mailbox because they'll hit it,” Lowe said.
Lowe said he doesn't trust letting his 3-year-old daughter play outside because of the trucks and the dust caused by the traffic.
“I'll take her to a park instead,” Lowe said.
Commissioner Jerry Tingle, who represents the Holt area, said he hasn't made up his mind yet on the request, but the fact that the landfill is at the end of a residential street concerns him.
I'm considering both sides, but it is a residential street. That's a real concern I have,” Tingle said, pointing to problems with dust, speed and safety. “I have to listen to the people because they are the ones who are having to live with it,” he said.
The request will be discussed by the Tuscaloosa County Commission during its regular meeting Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse.
Reach Lydia Seabol Avant at 205-722-0222 or lydia.seabol

Friday, June 20, 2014

Press Release

Friends of Hurricane Creek
Press Release
Notice of Intent to Sue
Who: The Friends of Hurricane Creek and Hurricane Creekkeeper.

Cell: 205-3103739
What: 60 Day Notice of intent to sue

Why: Repeated, ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act.

Where: Federal Court, Tuscaloosa County

On June 18, 2014, The Friends of Hurricane Creek filed a 60-day
notice of intent to sue the Advanced Disposal Landfill, Eagle Bluff facility for chronic and ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act.
Advanced Disposal off site tracking at Chambers Cemetery
 Hurricane Creekkeeper and Friends of Hurricane Creek have exhausted every possible resource and avenue for settling this matter outside a legal setting. Due to a lack of action and enforcement measures by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, as well as inaction on the part of the EPA, the Friends of Hurricane Creek has been left with no alternative but to try and enforce the rules by filing the below action in Federal court.

Advanced Disposal has repeatedly demonstrated that they either can not or will not comply with the regulations designed to protect the citizens living close by.

According to a recent Tuscaloosa County Engineer traffic count survey, there are currently over 1,600 vehicles passing within very close proximity to residential dwellings. This comes to one truck every thirty seconds dusting residents and/or covering the roadways with a thick layer of mud, thus creating dangerous and unsafe driving conditions. When the mud dries dries, it becomes airborne dust from a landfill that handles countless tons of demolition and construction debris, including many toxic substances.

The current waste load at the landfill is 1,000 cubic yards per day. They are now asking the County Commission for an increase to 3,000 cubic yards per day. There is a hearing scheduled for Wed. June 25th at the regularly scheduled County Commissioners meeting. We invite all residents who are effected by this expansion to be in the commission chambers at 9:00 A.M on Wed. June 25th to voice their opinions.

We believe this will place an unfair and dangerous burden to the residents of impact, including unsafe driving condition, possible health and safety issues stemming from the dust, and a lowering of the quality of life for all residents within a half mile radius of the facility.

For additional information about the legal matters, please see attached document including the text of Notice of Intent to Sue for Continuing Violations of NPDES Permit No. ALG160090.

The Notice

Re: Notice of Intent to Sue for Continuing Violations of NPDES Permit No. ALG160090
Pursuant to the Clean Water Act § 505, 33 U.S.C. § 1365, and 40 C.F.R. Part 135, Subpart A, you are hereby notified that after the expiration of sixty (60) days following the date of this notice, Friends of Hurricane Creek may file suit against Advanced Disposal Services, Eagle Bluff Landfill, Inc. for the violations of NPDES Permit No. ALG160090 at the Eagle Bluff Landfill located at 4701 12th Street NE, Holt, Alabama alleged herein.

Permit Requirements
NPDES Permit No. ALG160090, Part II, B. 2. c. provides:
The permittee shall prepare and implement a Best Management Practices (BMP) Plan according to Part IV of this permit.

Part IV, B. provides, in part:
1. Plan Content for Landfill Activities: The permittee shall prepare (or as required have a QCP prepare) and implement a best management practices (BMP) plan which shall: (a) Provide control sufficient to prevent or control pollution of storm water by soil particles to the degree required to prevent
violation of the turbidity water quality standard applicable to the waterbody receiving the discharge;
* * *
1. Appropriate measures must be taken to prevent the deposition of airborne pollutants such as spray
paint, herbicides, excessive road dust, etc. from entering any waterbody.
2. Plan Content for Construction Activities (g) Appropriate measures must be taken to prevent the deposition of airborne pollutants such as spray paint, herbicides, excessive road dust, etc. from entering any waterbody.

Best Management Practices Plan Requirements
The Best Management Practices (BMP) & Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) (revised Jan. 2014, submitted Feb. 3, 2014) for the Eagle Bluff Landfill, prepared by Alabama registered professional engineers William W. Stubbs and Nathan Daniel Dunn, provides the following:

4.2 Good Housekeeping
Good housekeeping is an essential nonstructural control measure that reduces the likelihood for storm water discharges to contain various pollutants. Good housekeeping practices will be employed on a daily basis at this facility. In addition, the twice per week inspections will be performed throughout the overall facility for good housekeeping. Good housekeeping at this facility consists of the following measures:
* * *
• Regular cleaning of facility entrance to control offsite
sediment tracking

4.3 Maintenance
Routine site inspections will be completed following the twice per week inspection. These inspections will identify any control measures which require maintenance. All required maintenance will be reported to the team leader and follow up activities will be documented on a follow up inspection report. Routine maintenance at this facility consists of cleaning sediment basins and traps (for both floating and submerged trash and sediment), dust control, maintaining ditches, control offsite tracking, maintaining vegetation across the site ensuring proper operation of skimmer, and all other erosion control (silt fence, check dams, rock filter rings, etc.).

(Emphasis added).

The Permittee has operated the Eagle Bluff Landfill in such a manner that trucks leaving the landfill are tracking sediment onto the surface of 12th Street NE. The Permittee’s efforts to remove the sediment from the surface of 12th Street NE are merely (1) pushing the sediment to the side of the road where it is carried by stormwater into drainage ditches and transported to a tributary of Hurricane Creek or (2) causing the sediments to become airborne and deposited on land surfaces and vegetation where it is carried by
stormwater into drainage ditches and transported to a tributary of Hurricane Creek. Such offsite tracking is a violation of NPDES Permit No. ALG160090, Part II, B. 2. c. and Part IV, B. 1. a., Part IV, B. 1. l., and Part IV, B. 2.g.

The dates when offsite racking has occurred and been documented include the following seventy one days:
August 2, 2013 August 14, 2013 August 18, 2013 August 19, 2013
September 2, 2013 September 20, 2013 September 21, 2013 September 23, 2013
September 25, 2013 October 17, 2013 October 18, 2013 October 20, 2013
October 21, 2013 October 28, 2013 November 14, 2013 November 18, 2013
November 20, 2013 November 25, 2013 November 26, 2013 November 27, 2013
November 28, 2013 November 29, 2013 November 30, 2013 December 2, 2013
December 5, 2013 December 6, 2013 December 7, 2013 December 8, 2013
December 9, 2013 December 11, 2013 December 12, 2013 December 13, 2013
December 14, 2013 December 19, 2013 December 20, 2013 December 21, 2013
December 22, 2013 December 23, 2013 December 28, 2013 January 15, 2014
January 22, 2014 February 3, 2014 February 6, 2014 February 10, 2014
February 11, 2014 February 12, 2014 February 14, 2014 February 17, 2014
February 23, 2014 March 2, 2014 March 3, 2014 March 4, 2014
March 6, 2014 March 12, 2014 March 18, 2014 March 21, 2014
March 23, 2014 March 28, 2014 April 1, 2014 April 4, 2014
April 11, 2014 April 14, 2014 April 15, 2014 April 21, 2014
May 7, 2014 May 10, 2014 May 29, 2014 June 10, 2014
June 11, 2014

Friends of Hurricane Creek filed complaints with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management concerning offsite tracking on 12th Street NE from trucks leaving Eagle Bluff Landfill on the following dates: September 6, 2013 September 23, 2013 September 25, 2013 October 21, 2013
October 25, 2013 November 25, 2013 December 12, 2013 December 20, 2013
February 2, 2014 February 13, 2014 March 24, 2014 May 19, 2014
June 11, 2014
Most complaints can be obtained at

ADEM Inaction
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management conducted an inspection of the Eagle Bluff Landfill on September 16, 2013. The inspector made the following observation: “Sediment was present outside of the facility’s gate from apparent offsite tracking.” The inspection report includes photographs of “offsite tracking outside of the facility’s gate.”

On October 25, 2013, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management issued a Notice of Violation to Advanced Disposal Services Eagle Bluff Landfill, Inc. The Notice states “At the time of the July and
September 2013 inspections, sediment was present outside of the facility’s gate from apparent offsite
Offsite tracking and the accumulation of sediment at the facility’s discharge points which are conveyances to waters of the state are indicators of solids being discharged in more than trace amounts.”

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management conducted an inspection of the Eagle Bluff Landfill on March 27, 2014. The inspector made the following observation: “ Also, observed during the inspection, was offsite tracking of gravel and gravel dust. A build up of sediment was noted in several areas along the shoulder of the road just below the landfill entrance.” The inspection report includes photographs of “offsite gravel” and “gravel dust.”

Apparently, no further actions have been taken by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and offsite tracking continues.

The Court may assess civil penalties of up to $37,500 per violation per day and litigation costs (including attorney and expert witness fees). Suit may be avoided if these violations have been permanently abated before the expiration of sixty (60) days following the date of this notice.
Please advise the undersigned of any measures that you may undertake which you contend have permanently abated these violations before suit is filed. Friends of Hurricane Creek may be contacted through the undersigned.
David A. Ludder
Attorney for Friends of Hurricane Creek

cc: Hon. Gina McCarthy, Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building (AR)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004

Hon. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator
Environmental Protection AgencyRegion 4
Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street, SW
Atlanta, GA 303033104

Hon. Lance LeFleur, Director
Alabama Department of Environmental Management
P.O. Box 301463
Montgomery, AL 361301463

The Corporation Company
Registered Agent for Advanced Disposal Services Eagle Bluff Landfill, Inc.
2000 Interstate Park Drive, Suite 204
Montgomery, Alabama 36109

Friends of Hurricane Creek
5600 Holt Peterson Road
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35404
(205) 5070867