Alabama Incensed Over 'Horrific' Smell of New York Poo

And the Big Apple backs down
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2018 12:30 PM CDT
Why New York Poo Stinks Up Alabama
The glorious sight of industrial waste and sewage.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

New York's poo problem has become Alabama's poo problem, and that stinks for both of them. New York City, which produces about 1,200 tons of sewage daily, has been shipping some of it down to landfills around Birmingham that are producing a bit of a smell, the Guardian reports. "On a hot day, the odor and flies are horrific," says Charles Nix, the mayor of a nearby town that's close to a landfill with Yankee waste. "It's better in winter time but if the wind blows in the wrong direction you get the smell. It's like dead, rotting animals." A dispute over zoning rules shifted the operation to another town, but they didn't want it, so during the squabble trains full of treated sewage have backed up near Birmingham.

New York waste became a problem when the Environmental Protection Agency declared in 1998 that it shouldn't be pumped into the ocean—then, last year, Alabama became a solution. "I guess we are not even as good as the fish, down here in Alabama," says Nix. An inspection by Alabama environmental officials found "no odor leaks," but amid outcry around Birmingham, New York broke off with the company handling Alabama disposal. "As a precaution and to better understand local concern, we have discontinued utilizing this facility," says a city official. Meanwhile the city still spills billions of gallons of sewage into New York harbor annually, WXXI reports. (More New York City stories.)

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