PERRY COUNTY – A group of Uniontown residents are unhappy about the conditions at a local cemetery, and a loss of burial plots and grave sites.
Arrowhead Landfill, located near Uniontown, recently widened a road. According to Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice, the road work encroached on Pi Cemetery.
Esther Calhoun, president of Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice, believes the landfill is responsible for the destruction of several grave sites.
Calhoun said, “I really think this is discrimination. Because it’s a simple fact if it had been a white grave none of this would have never happened”.
Representatives of Arrowhead Landfill deny the allegations.
Michael D. Smith is currently serving as legal counsel for Arrowhead Landfill.
Smith said, “The area that was clear was at least 100 feet away from any known or suspected grave that had been indicated by the archaeological studies”.
Denials did not stop the NAACP from taking action Friday. The activist group held a press conference in Pi Cemetery.
Bernard H. Smelton, president of the Alabama State Conference of NAACP, wants to know how the grave sites were disturbed.
Smelton said, “If we have proof that this cemetery here, we’re asking that the Arrowhead company stop. If they want to help come clean up the facility we’re about to stop the excavation process that you see behind us now”.
Members of Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice believe the landfill may be polluting the cemetery, as well. According to the group, a toxic chemical is leaking into a nearby creek, and coal ash now covers the once peaceful cemetery with dust and a foul odor.