Citizens to address Alabama Environmental Management Commission

For 8/16/2013

David Ludder, Environmental Attorney, 850-386-5671,
Ellis Long, Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice, 334-231-5351,
Michael Mullen, Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper, 334-670-3624

Citizens to address Alabama Environmental Management Commission

Pressing Environmental concerns to be raised with oversight board for ADEM

What: Citizens to speak at the regular bi-monthly meeting of the Alabama Environmental Management Commission (AEMC), the seven-member oversight board for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management

When8/16/2013, 11:00 am

Where: ADEM Building Alabama Room (main conference room) 1400 Coliseum BLVD, Montgomery

Why: Citizens propose to address the Commission during the public comment period of the meeting regarding three important issues.  Presentation requests are required to be submitted 14 business days in advance and final approval will occur at the meeting.

The presentations that have been requested are the following:

  • Environmental attorney David A. Ludder has requested the opportunity to address the Environmental Management Commission on ADEM’s obligation to ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  ADEM could lose all of the grant funding it receives from EPA if EPA finds that any permit that ADEM has issued results in adverse effects that are discriminatory based on race in violation of Title VI.  Mr. Ludder plans to inform the Commission that EPA has recently required that, as a condition of continued funding, ADEM acknowledge that it has an affirmative obligation to implement an effective Title VI compliance program and ensure that its permitting actions do not have adverse discriminatory effects. Click here for supporting documents.  Mr. Ludder plans to recommend to the Commission that ADEM develop and implement an effective Title VI compliance program to prevent the loss of EPA grant funding to ADEM.  The proposed visual presentation is available here.
  • Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice is a non-profit organization of concerned citizens in Uniontown, Alabama, who are propose to present information regarding two issues of concern to their community, the Arrowhead Landfill and the City of Uniontown’s wastewater treatment upgrades.

Regarding the landfill, they will present the test results obtained by Dr. Betsy Dobbins, Department of Biology, Samford University, from her water sampling of both surface run-off from the landfill and well water on Booker Gipson’s property adjacent to the landfill. These test results reveal elevated levels of conductivity, and elevated levels of arsenic. Regarding the City of Uniontown’s long-overdue and much-needed upgrades to its Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), citizens will reiterate to the AEMC their strenuous objections to the proposed location for construction of a second spray field.  

The citizens will request the AEMC’s support in directing ADEM to take immediate action to protect their community from these threats to their air, water, and quality of life.

  • Michael Mullen, Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC), former Erosion Control Task Force Coordinator while under contract to ADEM and current Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper, is proposing to communicate numerous examples of ADEM’s failure to effectively enforce construction stormwater permits. Current enforcement activities are not creating deterrence, either general or specific, to permit violations. Mr. Mullen’s presentation will highlight numerous cases in Troy and SE Alabama where permit violations have occurred.  Many of these examples represent serious and ongoing violations, suggesting ADEM enforcement efforts are not effective at creating general deterrence. Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper and others have attempted for many years to avail upon ADEM that it needs to take steps to improve the effectiveness of its compliance enforcement activities and this presentation will take this plea to the AEMC asking for their help in achieving improved, effective enforcement at ADEM.

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