Time for Tennessee to Give Environmental Justice to Black Family Poisoned by Toxic Landfill
The eight-year war against toxic racism is nearly over for Sheila Holt Orsted and the Harry Holt family, an African American family in Dickson, Tennessee whose well was poisoned with trichloroethylene (TCE) from the nearby leaky Dickson County Landfill, located just 54 feet from the family’s property line.Five generations of Holt family members grew up in the rural all-black segregated community on Eno Road in Dickson County. The Holt family survived the horrors of slavery and “Jim Crow” segregation, but it may not survive the toxic terror of the deadly trichloroethylene (TCE) chemical leaked into their wells from the nearby landfill. In 2003, the Holt family and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF) sued the city and county of Dickson, the state of Tennessee, and the company that dumped the TCE. And in 2008, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Sheila Holt Orsted and her mother Beatrice Holt filed a lawsuit against Dickson City and County governments seeking cleanup of alleged water contamination.