Residents of Uniontown (Best Places map), which is 90 percent black and has a median household income of $14,000, unsuccessfully fought the license for Arrowhead. "When the landfill started to accept coal ash, their previous complaints about the foul air now focused on the health risks," Pierre-Louis writes. "Residents say a litany of problems—asthma, headaches, rashes, neuropathy, even the death of pets—cropped up. They filed several lawsuits, a civil-rights complaint and took to Facebook to make those grievances public."
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Lee Rowland, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union who is representing the Uniontown defendants, told Pierre-Louis, "The effect of the filing is obviously intimidating. When an average citizen, let alone those who live in a town where the per-capita income is under $10,000 receive notice that they've been sued in court for $30 million ... it's hard to overstate the terror that you would feel just for speaking about your community from the heart." (Read more)