The Twin Chimneys Landfill is about to get a new home, after a federal judge granted a $1.8 million emergency loan for the project.
The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to demolish the landfill next year, replacing it with a new, larger facility that will house more than 4,000 tons of coal.
The EPA says the project is on schedule and will create 10,000 new jobs.
Environmentalists have called for a cleanup and clean-up of the site since the 1980s, when the city’s twin chimewalls were first constructed.
In a 2015 report, the Center for Public Integrity called the twin-construction project “a shameful, cynical example of EPA overreach” and called on the EPA to take action against the company that built the chimneys.
The lawsuit filed last month asks the judge to order the EPA and its contractors to stop demolishing the chimney and to repair the damaged buildings.
The EPA said it will continue to investigate the issue.
“The twin chimemaking facility was constructed to address the twin environmental and social problems associated with chimney construction, including air pollution, and the damage done to the chiming floor,” the agency said in a statement.
“The twin site’s legacy of toxic emissions and toxic waste remains as an iconic example of the dangers of chimney building.
EPA continues to pursue the necessary remedies to ensure that the twin site is a positive legacy for the surrounding communities.”
The EPA says it will use a team of scientists, engineers and community members to review the site and determine the best way to restore the site.