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Alabama Colbert County Sewage Amendment (2010)

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Alabama Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
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Amendments
The Alabama Colbert County Sewage Amendment was on the June 1, 2010 primary election ballot in the state of Alabama as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would prohibit the use of human sewage biosolids as fertilizer or soil. The sample ballot for Colbert County can be found here.

Election results

Unofficial election results for the amendment follow:[1]

Affordable Fuel Amendment
Result Votes Percentage
Approveda Yes 8,037 75.8%
No 2,560 24.2%
Total votes 10,597 100.00%
Voter turnout N/A%


Text of amendment

Ballot title

The official ballot title that Alabama voters saw read:[2]

Relating to Colbert County, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that treated human sewage biosolids may not be applied to land as a fertilizer or soil amendment, except for sewage biosolids produced by a publicly owned utility in Colbert County.(Proposed by Act 2009-390)

Yes ( )

No ( )

Changes to the Alabama Constitution

The passing of Alabama Colbert County Sewage Amendment added Amendment 831 to the Alabama Constitution.

Support

Arguments

  • Residents in the counties that the amendments were being proposed in, Colbert, Franklin, and Lawrence County, were concerned that sewage being used as fertilizer may contain pollutants and diseases that could spread when the fertilizer is spread on farm fields and pastures.[3]
  • According to Colbert County Commissioner Roger Creekmore, when commenting on Synagro, the company whose sewage processing plant shut down but could reopen if the measure is defeated: "If the people vote down this amendment, there would be nothing to prevent Synagro from opening the Leighton plant back up on June 2. Or, another company could come in and open up the same type of plant."

Opposition

Arguments

  • Synagro, a company based out of Texas that opened a plant in Alabama for processing sewage from New York, stated that the biosolids that they would spread on farms were no threat to the surrounding environments or to health.[3]

Ballot confusion

There had been some confusion in Colbert County, as well as Franklin County and Lawrence County, where similar measures would be on the ballot. According to residents, the wording could present itself to be "backwards." Franklin County Coroner Elzie Malone stated, "It's very confusing to people because most people will say 'If I'm against it, I vote no. If I'm for it, I vote yes.' In this case, that's not the case." Voters who voted yes, would be voting for the ban of using human sewage biosolids as fertilizer or soil. Those who vote 'no' would be voting for the usage of biosolids as fertilizer.[4]

See also

External links

References