COFFEE COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — Dr. Robert Bullard, known as the “Father of Environmental Justice” believe the flooding situation in Shiloh is in his top 5 projects that have experienced environmental injustice and racism.
“Justice delayed is justice denied five and a half years is too long,” Dr. Bullard said.
He said usually in a community it’s a polluting industry that’s the culprit but in the Shiloh case, it’s a government agency that used tax dollars to expand and elevate Highway 84 five years ago, which has not been beneficial to some residents.
“You can see and I can see standing on the ground and looking up this road is designed in a way to push water into this community and designed in a way whether it’s intended or unintended to push residents out,” Dr. Bullard said.
Dr. Bullard said to his knowledge as of now, the Shiloh community, an African-American neighborhood, is the only area affected by the flooding due to the highway expansion.
Yet, every time residents speak up about the water they believe is being dumped on their property from the highway to elected officials or state agencies — they are neglected.
“I see an issue that’s begging for the officer of civil rights to investigate this highway robbery just like they did in Houston for the differential treatment regarding the city’s response to illegal dumping or Lowndes county here in the Black Belt of Alabama regarding the water system,” He said.
ALDOT released a statement in regard to the Shiloh flooding.
“We are aware of the flooding concerns. According to an independent evaluation provided to FHWA, the widening of US-84 has not contributed to the flooding within the Shiloh community. ALDOT will continue to monitor the situation and remain in communication with local residents.”
However, Dr. Bullard along with residents still believes there is a problem that someone in the government needs to own up to and address with urgency.
“There has to be some major re-engineering and major investments to correct this problem,” He adds.
Dr. Bullard said he’s working on putting together a factual coherent document just in case this calls for federal intervention.