Go Back
Press release

USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg to Visit Elba, Alabama Historically Black Shiloh Community Damaged by Flooding

USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg will tour the historically Black Shiloh community in Elba, Alabama, which has flooded repeatedly since a highway expansion project was completed in 2018.

Bullard Center

Date
April 2, 2024
Share

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

For Immediate Release – April 2, 2024  
USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg to Visit Elba, Alabama Historically Black Shiloh Community Damaged by Flooding

This Wednesday, April 3, USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg will tour the historically Black Shiloh community in Elba, Alabama, which has flooded repeatedly since a highway expansion project was completed in 2018. Dr. Robert D. Bullard, who is often called the “father of environmental justice,” and the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice supported a delegation of Shiloh community leaders' trip to Washington, DC, to meet with USDOT Assistant Secretary Christopher Coes and other transportation officials in February 2023, during Black History Month. The leaders requested Secretary Buttigieg come to the flood-damaged Shiloh community as part of the Bullard Center’s “Journey to Justice” Justice40 Initiative. Elba is Bullard’s hometown.

The historically Black Shiloh community has been burdened with ongoing flooding for six years.  The federal officials will hear from Shiloh homeowners who suffer flooding during heavy rains. A Fall 2023 ABC News investigation documented major flooding challenges in the community—especially among the elderly, persons on fixed incomes and military veterans.  The tour will be led by longtime Shiloh resident and community leader Pastor Timothy Williams. Before the highway was built, land in the Shiloh community was level and the community did not flood. The highway was elevated—placing the community in a bowl with stormwater draining downhill—flooding homes, property and businesses.

Shiloh becomes a lake during hard rains—flooding septic systems and causing sewage backups in homes. The constant flooding of the land is causing subsidence, with homes sinking into the red clay and contributing to structural damage to homes’ foundations. Sadly, flood-related claims are being denied by insurance companies. Some residents are now at risk of losing their homeowners insurance altogether.  Shiloh homeowners are left with mounting bills from the flooding.  These extra flood-related costs are especially burdensome for elderly and low-income families on fixed incomes.

Shiloh is a historic community.  Some Black residents’ land has been in their families since Reconstruction. Now, their inheritance is being washed away by flooding. Bullard and his colleagues chronicled the disproportionate negative impacts of highways on Black communities like Shiloh two decades ago in their 2004 book, Highway Robbery: Transportation Racism and New Routes to Equity.  

Shiloh residents are also concerned about the gas pipeline they recently discovered. The gas pipeline ran dozens of feet away from Shiloh residents’ homes prior to the US 84 highway expansion. It was later rerouted to the new US 84 right of way, just a few feet from residents’ homes.  A gas pipeline leak occurred in the Shiloh community on the evening of December 31, 2023.

Although the highway flooding and pipeline problem were created more than six years ago, the community and its allies are calling on USDOT Secretary Buttigieg to work with the community and local government officials to leverage federal transportation funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act and Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Grant Program to correct the flooding and pipeline problem in Shiloh.

The Community Tour will start at 4:00 pm CDT in Elba, AL Shiloh Community (Location: 14632 US Highway 84 Elba, AL 36323).

Media Coverage: Media planning to attend in person are encouraged to RSVP by 12 P.M. CDT on Tuesday April 2, RSVP to David Castillo at David.Castillo@tsu.edu.

About the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice

The Robert D. Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University was launched in 2021 to address long standing issues of systemic inequality and structural racism that cause disproportionate pain, suffering and death in Black and other people of color communities. The Bullard Center works to promote environmental, climate, economic, energy, transportation, food and water and health justice. Texas Southern University is a student-centered comprehensive doctoral university committed to ensuring equality, offering innovative programs that are responsive to its urban setting, and transforming diverse students into lifelong learners, engaged citizens, and creative leaders in their local, national, and global communities.

Latest Releases

April 23, 2024

The grant, through the EPA Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund’s “Solar For All” program, is one of the largest awarded of its kind.

April 2, 2024

USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg will tour the historically Black Shiloh community in Elba, Alabama, which has flooded repeatedly since a highway expansion project was completed in 2018.

February 21, 2024

Dr. Robert D. Bullard and Elba Shiloh Community to Participate in “Journey to Justice” Tour in Athens, Alabama's Flood-Prone Strain Road Neighborhood

February 19, 2024

Bullard Center Presents Exclusive Black History Month Screening: 'Clearing the Air' - Unveiling Environmental Justice Narratives in Communities of Color

February 1, 2024

Sierra Club Leaders to Join Dr. Robert D. Bullard on February 5th Black History Month Kickoff “Journey to Justice” Tour in South Alabama

January 26, 2024

The Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice Responds to Biden Administration Announcement to Pause New LNG Export Approvals & Reassess Public Interest Determination

January 9, 2024

The Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University proudly announces a significant accomplishment by Dr. Abdulla Alabbasi, a recent Fellow with the U.S. Department of State's IREX Community Solutions Program.

December 20, 2023

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University was selected as one of the eleven “Grantmakers” under its $600 million Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking (EJ TCGM) program, created by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the largest investment in climate action in history.

November 7, 2023

The Rapid Response Team will tour the Shiloh community, listen to residents’ concerns and work with them on possible solutions to the flooding, infrastructure and natural gas pipeline problem.

October 13, 2023

Proposal would bring solar power and jobs to the U.S. South.

October 10, 2023

Bullard Center Re-launches People of Color Environmental Groups Directory to Connect Environmental and Climate Justice Communities

August 23, 2023

This Is A Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity To Support Transformative Change And Accelerate A Just Transition To A Clean Economy

August 16, 2023

On August 16, 2023, leading environmental justice organizations, the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) and Robert D. Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice, will kick off the Justice40 August convening in New Orleans, LA.

July 25, 2023

The Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University has been awarded $150,000 from America Is All In to expand its proven community-based organizing efforts across the United States.

July 10, 2023

Residents are tired of being ignored after years of flooding caused by highway expansion.

May 23, 2023

Two Bullard Center Graduate Research Assistants were selected for summer Environmental Justice Research Program.

May 2, 2023

Starting in Summer 2023, the Bullard Center will recruit and mentor 20 undergraduate students annually to participate in the HBCU EJ Climate Corps.

March 16, 2023

The Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University has been awarded a $5 million grant from the Waverley Street Foundation (WSF).

March 10, 2023

Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University and Dr. Beverly Wright, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice launch the HBCU Climate and Environmental Justice Screening Tool.

February 16, 2023

Dr. Beverly Wright of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and Dr. Robert D. Bullard of the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University Continue Collaboration to Implement Justice40 Initiative

January 10, 2023

Dr. Robert Bullard releases statement on new grant funding. The Bullard Center is fully committed to this long overdue initiative. The time is right and it’s the right thing to do. We applaud EPA Administrator Regan for his bold leadership in environmental justice.

January 10, 2023

Historic grant funding for environmental justice will support projects in communities overburdened by pollution and historic underinvestment

December 20, 2022

Joining Forces to Bring Environmental Justice and Clean Energy Access to People of Color

October 25, 2022

Ed Pettitt, Graduate Research Assistant at the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice, will review microgrant applications, advocate on behalf of environmental and energy justice communities, and identify projects that maximize value and impact for their neighborhoods.

October 25, 2022

Deep South Center For Environmental Justice, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice Join International Partners for Historic Environmental Justice Presence in the Blue Zone

October 11, 2022

Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University, is among six luminaries who will be conferred with Honorary Doctorates from the University of Johannesburg.

September 21, 2022

Building on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Beyond Coal and Beyond Carbon, Beyond Petrochemicals will partner with frontline communities to block the construction of 120+ planned new petrochemical projects