Royal Oak Community Wants Justice

Jun 8, 2011

A group of African American residents in Brunswick County have taken their claims of environmental injustice to court. 

The Royal Oak community has a history going back to slavery.  Today, there are about 300 African American residents living in this unincorporated section of Brunswick County.  But their community also houses a waste transfer station, a sewage treatment plant, the animal shelter and the county’s only landfill.  Lewis Dozier is president of the Royal Oak Concerned Citizens Association.

Lewis Dozier:  "I feel that we have been unjustly targeted because we have activities that threaten our environment and water supply that some of the other communities don’t have."

Dozier filed a lawsuit last week with help from the UNC Center for Civil Rights.  It claims the county’s recent action to re-zone their community with plans to expand the landfill is illegal, and shows a pattern of discrimination.  Brunswick has not responded to the lawsuit yet.