The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday August 9th

Town’s treatment stinks: Long history of town negligence in Rogers Road

The Rogers Road community has been suffering for too long, and now it’s rightfully getting national attention because of how it has been treated.

The town of Chapel Hill placed a solid waste landfill close to the historically low-income, black community in 1972.

Ever since then, the community has been suffering from the landfill’s negative effects, including contaminated wells, illegal dumping, a putrid stench, rats and vultures.

But the community can’t take advantage of the town’s municipal services to remedy the problems because it lies outside the town’s boundary.

It’s unfair to ask the Rogers Road community to incur the higher property taxes that would come with annexation just to protect itself from the town’s negligence.

Rev. Robert Campbell, one of the leading activists for environmental justice within the community, has been invited to the White House to discuss the community’s plight with Environmental Protection Agency officials.

 The town of Chapel Hill has done little to alleviate the community’s problems associated with living so close to the landfill.

Even though the town created a task force to look into the matter in 2007, nothing has changed.

Earlier this year, the community requested that the town extend water and sewer lines into the community. But the town has not yet taken any tangible steps to alleviate the situation.

The Rogers Road community has been around for generations, and its residents did not ask for a landfill to be put next to it.

To grant the community the water and sewer lines necessary for basic sanitation is not unreasonable.

To add insult to injury, Orange County has since threatened to place a waste-transfer station less than a mile away from the community.

The White House did the community a service by inviting Campbell to express his concerns.

The town should be watching as those on top respond to the years of neglect that this community has suffered.

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