ADEM holding a public hearing regarding human waste regulation

Local News

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala (WIAT) — On Tuesday, Jan. 7, The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) is holding a public hearing to talk about a proposal to adopt regulations for the beneficial use of by-product materials for the purpose of land application.


ADEM has been under scrutiny before. In 2018, a train carrying human waste was coming from New York and stopping in areas like Adamsville, West Jefferson, and Walker County. Residents complained of a strong odor that lingered in town.

According to ADEM, the proposed regulation would establish procedures to encourage and regulate the land application of eligible non-hazardous by-product materials and establish a timeline for the notification and registration application process.

Nelson Brooke with the Black Warrior Riverkeeper said he’s been fighting with ADEM for more than 15 years on this and plans to voice his concerns at the public hearing.

“We’re concerned with the impacts to water resources but also to communities and people who love the river and live along the river and its tributaries land application of waste byproducts is something that has not been properly regulated in Alabama and its negatively affected a lot of people and our natural resources for far too long,” said Brooke.

Brooke said by-products don’t have to be land applied and can be sent to a landfill after being properly treated.

“It is allowed for it to be treated or untreated to different degrees and then land applied all over this country onto fields that grow our food and that raise our livestock. We should be very concerned about that,” said Brooke.

ADEM’s public hearing is at 1:30 p.m. at ADEM main office in Montgomery. If you can’t attend, you can send in a written comment for the record.


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