Star Ridge Landfill

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The Star Ridge Landfill (formerly Acmar Regional Landfill) is a 50-acre solid waste disposal site located at the site of the former Alabama Fuel and Iron Company's Acmar Mine at 3301 Acmar Road in Moody's Acmar community.

The property was first leased and developed for solid waste disposal by Acmar Regional Landfill, Inc., founded in 1989 by Paul Burke of Birmingham and Richard Farino of New York, New York. The site accepted garbage trucked to Alabama from the New York metropolitan area.

In 1993, Burke began seeking permits from Moody and St Clair County to increase the size of the site from 50 to 750 acres. After adjacent property owners were notified, they formed the Acmar/Moody Environmental Justice Society, headed by Jean Duke. The society requested assistance from national organizations to investigate the operations of the landfill and educate the community about the project. Under pressure from residents, the city and county suspended their permits.

Findings from the subsequent investigation led to charges filed against the operators. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management fined the company $150,000 for burying garbage in unlined areas outside its legal boundaries. On March 11, 1998 Burke and Farino pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act by allowing the discharge of pollutants into Big Black Creek and of conspiracy and mail fraud in advertising to customers that they were operating under their permit.

Acmar Regional Landfill, Inc. was fined $1.8 million and ordered to develop an environmental compliance plan. Burke and Farino were sentenced to 8 months in prison and fined $10,000. Burke was subsequently barred by the EPA from contracting with the United States government for five years.

Burke sold the landfill to Superior Services Inc. of West Allis, Wisconsin that same month. The new owner's changed the name to "Star Ridge". Superior was acquired in 1999 by Onyx North America, then part of the French Vivendi conglomerate. Vivendi's environmental services division was spun off in 2000 as Veolia ES, headquartered in Paris.

In 2006 Veolia and Jenkins Brick partnered to pipe gases generated in the landfill 5.5 miles south to Jenkins' William M. Jordan, Jr Plant on U. S. Highway 78. The landfill gases are mixed with natural gas to fire the company's brick kilns.

References

  • Veitch, Pat (October 1997) "Alabama poor fight New York trash" The Planet vol. 4, No. 8
  • Johnson, Joe (May 11, 1998) "Two plead quilty in Ala. leachate case" Waste & Recycling News
  • Burke v. United States Environmental Protection Agency (January 11, 2001)
  • Wilkinson, Kaija (August 13, 2006) "Jenkins Brick poised to bring $45M plant online." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Jenkins, Mike V (October 8, 2008) "Green brick". Environmental Design + Construction

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