By JEFF MARTIN and JAY REEVES, The Associated Press
A stinking trainload of human waste from New York City is stranded in a tiny Alabama town, spreading a stench like a giant backed-up toilet.
The “poop train” is just the latest example of the South being used as a dumping ground for other states’ waste.
In Parrish, Alabama, population 982, the sludge-hauling train cars have sat idle near the little league ball fields for more than two months, Mayor Heather Hall said. The smell is unbearable, especially around dusk after the atmosphere has become heated, she said.
“Oh my goodness, it’s just a nightmare here,” she said. “It smells like rotting corpses or carcasses. It smells like death.”
All kinds of waste have been dumped in Georgia, Alabama and other Southern states in recent years, including toxic coal ash from power plants around the nation. In South Carolina, a plan to store radioactive nuclear waste in a rural area prompted complaints that the state was being turned into a nuclear dump.
In Parrish, townspeople are considering rescheduling children’s softball games, or playing at fields in other communities to escape the stink.
Experts say Alabama’s inexpensive land, permissive zoning laws and a federal ban on dumping New Yorkers’ excrement in the ocean got the poop train chugging.