From Houston County wetlands to North Birmingham neighborhoods, Alabama’s budget battles lead to environmental problems
Holes are appearing in Alabama’s official safety net for environmental protection.
A consistent loser in recent battles for state funding, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) is seeing delays in enforcing regulations.
It also is seeking to hand off to local governments the primary responsibility for emergency response to environmental accidents.
And its lack of matching funds helped dash hopes for federal clean-up of long-standing industrial contamination in several north Birmingham neighborhoods.
A recent sign of the problems came Feb. 10 with landowner James Hodges’s plea to ADEM’s oversight commission for more timely enforcement of regulations to prevent construction runoff from damaging his cypress wetlands in Houston County. Read more.