Taking Action: Limestone County Commission Weighs In On Toxic Burn Pile

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - WHNT News 19 is taking action for concerned neighbors in the Lester Community of Limestone County.

Greg Poss wrote in to our newsroom and said that he and his neighbors were concerned about burning debris from a demolished grocery store that the Limestone County Commission chose to dump on private property along Leggtown Road.

Since then the Alabama Department of Environmental Management issued notices of violation to both the owner of the property and the commission.

Members of the commission would not speak on camera last week when WHNT News 19 first approached them about the story.  But, they did address the situation at Tuesday morning's commission meeting.

While the notice was addressed to Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee, he said that he was not involved with the issue.

"Commissioner [Bill] Latimer was in charge of that project up there and that demolition," said Menefee. "We had those tornadoes and all those other things that I was involved with heavily in that and just other county business and all.  So, that's basically all I know right there."

District 3 Commissioner Bill Latimer was not at Tuesday's meeting.

The property where the debris was dumped is located in District 4 which is under Commissioner Ben Harrison's jurisdiction.

He said he was unaware of what was happening in his district.

"Commissioner [Latimer] decided to take [the debris] to that spot.  It was done without my knowledge and I did not learn about it until after that process was started," said Harrison.

According to the violation notice, the commission has until June 27 to submit a remediation plan to ADEM. It then has until July 28 to complete the clean up.

After this issue is resolved, Harrison said the commission will work on making sure this does not become a repeat issue.

"We're going to work also, in future work sessions to establish a policy to ensure that this doesn't happen again," said Harrison. "All actions like this will be taken with full commissioner knowledge."

Harrison said he contacted ADEM Tuesday morning so they can get this issue resolved as quickly as possible.

WHNT News 19 took action and reached out to ADEM, but it could not confirm that the commission had been in touch.

ADEM has both its land and air divisions investigating the incident.

For more coverage on this story, click here.


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