The South Carolina neighborhood of Ridgeland is under fire, literally. A landfill owned by Able Contracting has been burning for over a month, since June, to the point of probable contamination. Due to the landfill owner’s apparent negligence, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of a construction company located close by to the burning site. The class action was filed with the intention of compensating residents and business owners in the surrounding area for a decline in property value, a decrease in potential revenue, and personal injury. Many residents voluntarily left their homes, and some are starting to cope with the possibility that they may never return to their homes.
The main issue at hand is the environmental impact of the burning debris and the consequential harm to the health of those living and working close to the landfill. Senator Davis has commented on the significance of the fire and the great potential for a strong case against Able Contracting. Many are pointing the finger at Able Contracting for their negligence in lacking control over the fire and not using caution in maintaining the debris. As argued in the class action lawsuit, the current state of the landfill is creating a dangerous place to live and work.
As a result of the escalated condition of Ridgeland, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Coast Guard, and Jasper County emergency services are working together to take care of the problem. They have also met to discuss how to keep the community informed of their progress and the safety status of the area. The EPA has set up a site nearby in order to properly evaluate the landfill to determine how best to proceed. Monitoring the air quality in the area is the first step. Next they must understand how deep and how wide the contamination has spread already and if the water supply has been tainted. The obvious plan is to contain the fire and move the debris elsewhere.Google+