US Marijuana Party

Sunday, February 26, 2006

St. Clair prison still polluting despite decree

Sewage flows to creek months after deadline

Birmingham News, AL

The St. Clair Correctional Facility near Odenville continues to pollute Little Canoe Creek four months after its deadline to fix the 15-year-old problem.

In October 2003, Alabama Corrections Commissioner Donal Campbell signed a consent order agreeing to fix problems with the prison's wastewater treatment plant by October 2005. The pollution has been going on since at least 1991.

But the problem persists and prompted a lawsuit by the state attorney general in September. The lawsuit accuses the prison of violating the Alabama Water Pollution Control Act.

Prison system spokesman Brian Corbett, in a statement last week, said prison officials are considering possible solutions. He said no money is requested in the current state budget to fix the problem.

The attorney general's lawsuit includes complaints against Draper and Elmore correctional facilities, which also are under consent orders. It also includes complaints against Fountain/Holman Correctional Facility, Limestone Correctional Facility and Red Eagle Honor Farm. Those facilities are not under consent orders but are in violation of their discharge permits, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit, filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court, asks the court to require the prison system to ensure the problems do not recur and to pay a fine.

Richard Allen, appointed Feb. 15 by Gov. Bob Riley to replace Campbell, who has resigned and is leaving the department Tuesday, promised to fix the problem but did not give specifics. "Absolutely it's going to be fixed," Allen said. "It's going to take time and money."

Remember, two-thirds of the turds fouling our formerly pristine waterways were produced by non-violent offenders. Many of these people were simply minding their own business in their own homes when they were attacked by roving bands of para-military thugs and drug off to the forced-labor prison camps. The war on drugs is a thinly disguised war on the American People.


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