Search Results for: north birmingham

Ethics Charges in North Birmingham Case Survive Challenge

The Alabama Ethics Commission did not overstep its authority in bringing state ethics charges against Onis “Trey” Glenn and Willie S. Phillips, a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge has found.

The cases are related to work by Glenn and Phillips in opposition to the addition of a proposed Superfund site in North Birmingham to the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List.

Judge Stephen C. Wallace ruled this week that the state acted properly and in compliance with the Ethics Act, and that the cases should not be summarily dismissed.

Read more.

North Birmingham Neighborhoods ‘Have Taken a Beating,’ Work to Unite Over Pollution Concerns

The EPA Superfund cleanup and ABC Coke’s proposed air emissions permit have dominated health concerns of residents in northern Birmingham neighborhoods for months. Now officials and residents of several neighborhoods there are attempting to form a coalition to broaden the concerns to other sources of possible pollution.

The flash point of the new effort is a scrap metal processor’s business license. The license was denied by a unanimous Birmingham City Council vote in March, but the owner successfully appealed the case in Jefferson County Circuit Court, which compelled the city to grant the license.

Catherine Evans, president of the Acipco-Finley Neighborhood Association, and City Councilman John Hilliard led a meeting Saturday of about 30 people, including officers of some other neighborhood associations, to discuss how to proceed after the court decision and how to meet concerns over respiratory illnesses and other health effects possibly related to industrial pollution throughout the largely African-American and low-income area.

Several people at the meeting called attention to the negative health effects of living in the North Birmingham community.
Gwen Webb, president of Inglenook Neighborhood Association, said, “I don’t care what side of town you live on, what organization you belong to, what neighborhood you’re in, we all are affected (by polluted air). I can tell you when I start smelling it, I cannot breathe, and pollution is injustice.” Read more.

EPA Studies Find Air Pollution Is Particularly Dangerous to Vulnerable Populations Such as People of Color and Children

See, Smell Air Pollution? Document and Report It.

Health Department Gives More Time for North Birmingham Residents to Weigh in on Air Quality

The Jefferson County Department of Health has extended the deadline for comments on the proposed renewal of the air emissions permit for ABC Coke. The move comes at the request of residents and environmental groups.

Concerns about the permit heightened following a federal corruption trial where an executive with ABC Coke’s parent, Drummond Company, and a lawyer were convicted in a scheme to thwart testing for pollution near the Tarrant plant. Read more.

Officials Want More Contamination Testing in North Birmingham

More than 500 properties in North Birmingham have not been tested for contamination, Congresswoman Terri Sewell said Wednesday while touring Collegeville with city, state and EPA officials. She’s encouraging people who have rejected soil testing to allow EPA to check for contaminants.

“We understand some of the citizens may be distrustful, but it’s important for us in order to truly have cleanup that is comprehensive for us to get those sites that have not been tested, tested,” Sewell says. Read more.

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.

New Proposal Plans to Connect Birmingham’s City Center to Northwest Neighborhoods

A new project would connect Birmingham’s City Center to neighborhoods in the northwest quadrant that are currently separated from downtown by I-65 and I-59/20.

Urban Impact Inc. and REV Birmingham announced the proposal Tuesday in conjunction with Birmingham’s City Center Master Plan. The proposal seeks to find a consultant to develop a plan to connect the city center to northwest neighborhoods such as Fountain Heights and Smithfield.

Ivan Holloway, executive director of Urban Impact, said these neighborhoods are key to the development of Birmingham’s City Center and the Innovation District. Read more.

Questions About Protection of the Drinking Water Supply Dominate Debate On Northeast Birmingham Zoning Plan

Sep. 19, 2017 — The Birmingham City Council approved Tuesday a measure to change zoning district lines in parts of northeast Birmingham despite criticism that some of the changes could endanger water quality in Lake Purdy and the Cahaba River, both essential drinking water sources.

City officials said they are taking steps to protect the watershed and are preparing conservation easements for that land. Read more.