The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Thursday, January 19, it has stepped in to help extinguish a landfill fire burning between the Alabama towns of Trussville and Moody for over 50 days.
The EPA said it deployed officials on Thursday to provide air monitoring support and to implement fire mitigation operations.
“EPA’s first priority is to ensure the wellbeing of the residents… the community wants to see action and are understandably concerned about the landfill fire’s impact on their health, safety and quality of life,” Regional Administrator Daniel Blackman said. “Today, we are putting boots on the ground to address the fire so that all impacted can breathe a sigh of relief.”
Alabama Gov Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency for St Clair County on Wednesday, warning that the smoke from the fire had the potential to impact residents’ health.
According to local reports, the privately owned Environmental Landfill Inc is designated as a green waste landfill, however, neighbors and local environmental inspectors have found unauthorized material at the site in the past, including scrap tires, household waste, and appliances.
Residents have been reporting headaches, coughing, red eyes and breathing problems, according to local news outlet AL.com.
This footage was recorded by Ronald Burkett, who told Storyful he was shocked the first time his drone rose above the tree line, when he gained view of the site and witnessed the volume of smoke generated by the fire. Credit: Ronald Burkett via Storyful