The Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice began organizational meetings in the summer of 2005 to take on the issue of the proposed landfill. Despite widespread opposition, the landfill opened in 2007. When residents learned about the impending coal ash shipments, Black Belt Citizens fought hard to stop TVA and 4 million tons of toxic coal ash from the 2008 Kingston TVA disaster to be dumped in the Arrowhead Landfill. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management gave permission for the coal ash, then allowed under a “special permit” law, and ADEM got $1 a ton for their state agency. From 2009-2010, coal ash was shipped by rail into the community and the near-by residents began to witness horrific pollution problems and became concerned for their health and rights. After a while the meetings grew larger and more regular and the overall plan to fight the landfill grew with identified targets and specific goals. Black Belt Citizens elected William (Bill) Gibbs as their first President in 2010. The struggle in Uniontown isn’t new. Check out this JET Magazine article from the early 70’s describing Uniontown’s political climate.

Goat Hill Project, March 2, 2011