New York City halts sewage train to Alabama amid stink issue

An operation sending train loads of partially treated sewage material to an Alabama landfill has been halted.

Six wastewater treatment plants from New York City and one from New Jersey had been sending their solid material left over from treatment processes to the Big Sky Environmental, LLC landfill in Adamsville for more than a year.

The stench is nearly unbearable, Birmingham City Councilman John Hilliard said last week at a city council meeting.

Lawyers for the Alabama town of West Jefferson said in a January lawsuit that it smells like "dead, rotting animals" and human waste, and has caused fly infestations in the community,

New York City Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Edward Timbers says in an email the department has discontinued utilizing the Big Sky facility as a precaution and to better understand local concern.

The transported sewage has prompted complaints of a rotten stench and fly infestations in Jefferson and Walker counties.

The sewage material has also sloshed out of trucks and spilled onto roads, where it sometimes sticks to vehicle tires, West Jefferson Mayor Charles Nix has said.

"When it's hot, if people go out to their mailbox and one of these trucks rolls by, they have to go in and shower. It's that bad. The odor is just horrific."

Big Sky landfill would not make statements about the sewage operation per advice of the company's attorneys.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.