Stranded sewage train wreaks havoc on Alabama town’s senses

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Parrish, Ala.
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PARRISH, Ala. — A parked poop train is wreaking havoc on the senses of local residents in a small town in Alabama.

Hundreds of sewage-filled containers loaded on flat cars have been sitting in a rail yard in the tiny town of Parrish, about 35 miles northeast of Birmingham, since January. The waste is from New York and New Jersey and was on its way to a landfill in nearby Adamsville when another town, West Jefferson, filed a lawsuit to prevent Big Sky Environmental from storing the rail cars in their community, CNN reports.

Big Sky Environmental then moved the cars to Parrish, where there are no local zoning rules preventing such storage, so that they could wait for more room at the landfill. The cars have been there ever since, much to the dismay of Parrish’s 982 residents. Big Sky has vowed to move the cars soon, but so far the poop remains in place.

This isn’t the first time rail cars of sewage have upset residents in Alabama. In January, Birmingham residents protested the placement of 80 cars of sewage before they were moved along to another community in what is perhaps the worst game of hot sewage potato ever.

Parrish residents tell CNN they have reached out to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, but both say the sewage does not pose a health threat, no matter how much it stinks.

"It greatly reduces the quality of life," Parrish Mayor Heather Hall tells CNN. "You can't sit out on your porch. Kids can't go outside and play, and God help us if it gets hot and this material is still out here."

Sewage is a stinky, yet at times profitable business for railroads. According to the Association of American Railroads, more than half a million carloads of waste and scrap materials originated on American railroads in 2016.
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