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USA: Judge decides in favour of community activists in defamation lawsuit by Green Group over racial & environmental objections to landfill

"ACLU Lawsuit Forces Landfill Company to Agree to Free Speech and Environmental Protections", 10 Feb 2017

Freedom of speech rights prevailed in a small Alabama town this week when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) won a federal lawsuit brought against four community activists who voiced opposition to a coal ash landfill, citing objections to what they saw as a racial and environmental injustice...The defendants were sued for $30 million by a Georgia-based waste company for their vocal opposition to the hazardous coal ash that the company keeps in a landfill in a residential area...Speaking out against the risk to their environment and health, the defendants also disagreed with the location of the landfill, which is across the street from several homes and next to one of the town’s historic Black cemeteries...The ACLU settlement defined several areas moving forward:

  • Green Group Holdings agreed to permanently drop the lawsuit;
  • They committed to addressing future disagreements with community dialogue first rather than litigation;
  • They will provide the public with notice before the landfill receives any potentially hazardous waste products; and
  • The landfill will continue to use the current EPA-approved standards to seal off any future shipments of coal ash...

Green Group sued over...statements such as “We should all have the right to clean air and clean water,"...