Tag: Environment

Supreme Court Backs Move to Protect Land Around Water Source

The Alabama Supreme Court has sided with environmentalists who say the Birmingham Water Works Board is not abiding by a court order to protect land around Lake Purdy and parts of the Cahaba River, which are the largest source of drinking water in the Birmingham area.

The Supreme Court overturned an earlier court ruling that sided with the board and sent the case back to the circuit court. Read more.

Jefferson County Enlists Zoning Officials in Battle Against ‘Poop Trains,’ Littering

The Jefferson County commissioners Thursday enlisted the aid of county personnel to fight illegal dumping, littering and violations involving “poop trains” in the county.

And those they enlisted are already on the frontlines.

“We designated the sanitation and ordinance inspectors, the zoning inspectors, the zoning supervisor and the zoning administrator as solid waste officers,” County Attorney Theo Lawson said. “By being designated as solid waste officers, that then gives them the authority under the code to write citations for criminal littering. Those folks are now able to enforce criminal littering through issuing citations. That should be a huge increase in our folks’ ability to enforce criminal littering.” Read more.

Carbon Monoxide From Generators Poisons Thousands of People a Year. The U.S. Has Failed to Force Safety Changes.

This story was originally published by ProPublica.

Portable generators can save lives after major storms by powering medical equipment, heaters and refrigerators when the grid collapses. But desperate residents who rely on the machines to keep their families safe sometimes end up poisoning them instead.

The devices can emit as much carbon monoxide as 450 cars, according to federal figures. They kill an average of 70 people in the U.S. each year and injure thousands more, making them one of the most dangerous consumer products on the market. Read more.

More Extreme Weather in Gulf States Means More Power Outages. Are Energy Companies Ready for It?

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is off to a busy start, and forecasters say it is likely to be as active as last year, when thousands were without power for weeks after hurricanes Laura, Zeta, Cristobal and Delta hit the Gulf South.

Climate studies show that a more-active hurricane season is just one of the new normals that climate change is bringing to the region, and with that comes bigger threats to the power grid. Read more.

Farmers Prefer Too Much Rain to Too Little but Say Enough’s Enough as They Watch Crops Drown

MONTGOMERY — Alabama farmers are looking at this summer’s unusually heavy rains as both a blessing and a curse.

Large amounts of rainfall are great for crops such as corn and wheat, but vegetable and fruit growers are having to abandon a large portion of their crop, especially in south Alabama.

“We’ve probably gotten a year’s worth of rain in three months,” Jeremy Sessions, a farmer in Mobile County told Alabama Daily News. Read more.

How to Prepare for a Tornado

It comes with the turf when you live in the South. Tornado season typically begins in March and lasts through May. Maybe you’ve weathered multiple storms or perhaps it’s your first season. Either way, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest on how to prepare. We’ve got you covered with this guide. Read more.

Enviro Groups Argue Ala. Power Plant Permit Could Violate Federal Sulfur Rules

Gasp and the Sierra Club have challenged a permit issued for operation of Plant Barry, near Mobile, saying it could allow the plant to emit sulfur dioxide at levels that violate federal standards.

Sulfur dioxide is a major contributor to fine particle air pollution that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined can, even in exposure of five minutes, cause decrements in lung function, aggravation of asthma, and respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity. Studies also have linked it to premature death. Read more.