Federal environmental decision expected Monday on North Birmingham plant action

Federal environmental decision expected Monday on North Birmingham plant action

Source: http://blog.al.com, September 29, 2012
By: Joseph D. Bryant, The Birmingham News

Federal environmental officials Monday are expected to make an announcement on action involving Walter Coke, a major industry in northern Birmingham.

While details are not yet available, a flier being distributed in the community invites residents to attend a meeting Monday evening at Hudson K-8 School at 6 p.m.

North Birmingham neighborhoods including Collegeville, Harriman Park and Fairmont have been the focus of federal intervention recently.

The EPA late last year initiated negotiations with Walter Coke to require the company to clean up pollution at its site and nearby.

While there have been several community information meetings, the flier bills Monday’s gathering as “an important decision affecting North Birmingham communities surrounding the Walter Coke, Inc. facility.”

“They are ready to talk to the community about what it is they have been able to do on its behalf,” Birmingham City Councilwoman Maxine Parker said when reached this evening.

Parker has called for federal action and city participation on environmental issues in her district.

“I don’t want to say it’s an exciting time, but at this time we are ready to hear what the EPA has to say,” she said. “This will help us in our effort to focus the community and unite the community on where we need to go.”

In the North Birmingham action initiated last year, the EPA cited its power under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, commonly referred to as the “Superfund” law, which allows the agency to force those found responsible for pollution to either clean up the site or pay the government to do the work.

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