CHEROKEE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Cherokee Industrial Landfill (CIL) has been ordered to cease and desist by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) after inspections saw several code violations over multiple months.

The CIL is monitored by the Tri-Cities Solid Waste Authority, which includes representatives from Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, and Sheffield. It is used to collect solid waste from Colbert County residents.

Under ADEM code, landfills like this should have a system to properly dispose of leachate, which is a contaminated liquid that forms from water that absorbs hazardous materials and contaminants.

In the order, ADEM officials say that pools of leachate should not reach more than 12 inches in depth. On December 29, 2022, an inspection of the CIL found that pools of leachate were up to 179.7 inches deep.

Another inspection on November 2, 2022, found that leachate had pooled in nearby stormwater ditches.

ADEM inspections also found that there were several weeks that the landfill was not properly covering their solid waste.

In the order, ADEM officials say that solid waste should be covered by at least six inches of compacted dirt to prevent litter and foul odor from spreading across the area.

Under this cease and desist order, the CIL must work to fix these issues and properly dispose of the leachate. They will have to submit weekly progress reports until released by ADEM.

The CIL will not be allowed to receive waste until they are released from the order.

Colbert County Administrator Roger Creekmore told News 19 that the county has reached an agreement with Franklin County to use their landfill until the situation has been resolved.

Creekmore said that normal operations and weekly trash pick-ups are expected to continue as normal.