ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - Viewers asked us to take action and get them relief from what the state has called a health hazard. And now, the results they were hoping for. The end is in sight for that illegal dump site in Limestone County we've been telling you about. It's in the Leggtown Community, and smoke from the burning debris was reportedly making residents sick.
County Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee says they'll start on it next week and he says it should only take a few days to completely clear it away.
Residents in the Leggtown Community of Limestone County began complaining not so much about the debris dumped here but about the smoke once someone set it on fire. It smoldered for days and residents said it was making them ill. That's when the Alabama Department of Environmental Management got involved, and told the county they'd have to clean it up.
"We received our letter yesterday from ADEM. It came back and they agreed with our plan that we had to clean up the site," Menefee told WHNT News 19 Tuesday morning. The debris was what was left over from the demolition of the old L&S Grocery Store and shopping center in Athens that the county recently purchased. Menefee says he never favored buying the property in the first place and says he isn't happy he had to take much of the blame for the disposal of the debris.
"It should have been handled differently. I was actually not in charge of that. You know, sometimes you get blamed for something you actually didn't do," Menefee said.
Menefee says test results failed to show the presence of asbestos or any other toxic materials. They will clean the site up and dump the debris properly at the Morgan County Landfill. ADEM will require the county to photograph before, during and after removal of the debris and supply receipts from the landfill to prove it was properly disposed of.
The commission has since passed new guidelines for themselves regarding any future dumping of construction debris. Still no word from the state, at this point, whether it will assess a fine regarding this dump site.