Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Lessons of the Poo Train

The sordid and smelly story has finally ended - the contents of New York's Poo Train finally went to its ultimate destination. And, after over two months, not too soon!

I hope our dilatory legislature takes heed of this saga and takes steps to ensure that it will not happen again. Seriously, there may be Federal laws regarding the regulation of interstate commerce that prevent Alabama from stopping the transport of human wastes into the state; but the state could pass laws affecting the disposal of hazardous wastes in its confines. Or a least levy heavy deposit fees for their being done. The theory is to make it prohibitively expensive for outside entities to trash Alabama. 

There was a successful antilittering campaign in the Lone Star State recently: "Don't mess with Texas." Why not have a similar slogan: "Alabama doesn't take any shit from anyone"? 

We need to stop being the doormat for outside interests and effectively take control of our land use and environmental interests. But to do this we have to take concerted effort on the statewide, county, and city (or town) level.  The fact is, some states have more stringent environmental policies. Therefore, what possible polluters will do is to follow the path of least resistance: ship their crap to states with less stringent policies.

And even deliberately use social pressure. For example, can religiously-minded people come to view despoiling the environment and making others' lives miserable a sin? And preach sermons to that effect! This might at least make it uncomfortable for local enablers of this kind of practice. And, quite frankly, the costs of our feeble environmental policies are borne especially by poor and largely African-American communities who don't have a lot of political leverage. It's past due time to look after our own.

And marshal whatever slight economic sanctions we might use, including boycotting of products from egregious out-of-state offending locales. 

Finally, the state should pass legislation leading to the scaling down or phasing out of hazardous waste disposal sites in our state. Especially the one in Emelle. Now that one is a time bomb that may have severe consequences in the future!


  1. Since Congress does little, it's time for the individual states to take up the slack

  2. Maybe if the infrastructure gets bad enough all that waste will just leak out and then nobody will have to deal with it! Sounds like a great plan doesn't it! :)

  3. At the very least, charge out-of-state companies a prohibitively stiff disposal fee. I agree that states with little regulation are more vulnerable.

  4. I think it's disgusting that a community would dump its waste in some other state. If states were nations, wouldnt that be considered an act of war!

  5. Thanks for your comments, friends!

    In effect, we are at war with predatory states - and, dammit, we're losing!

  6. I'm glad it wasn't parked in Etowah County.