Cleanup Efforts in North Birmingham Continue As Residents Wait

 ========= Old Image Removed =========Array
(
    [_wp_attached_file] => Array
        (
            [0] => 2016/07/Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville.jpg
        )

    [_wp_attachment_metadata] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:5:{s:5:"width";i:1632;s:6:"height";i:1224;s:4:"file";s:41:"2016/07/Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville.jpg";s:5:"sizes";a:13:{s:6:"medium";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:41:"Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville-336x252.jpg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:252;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:5:"large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:41:"Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville-771x578.jpg";s:5:"width";i:771;s:6:"height";i:578;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:41:"Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville-140x140.jpg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:12:"medium_large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:41:"Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville-768x576.jpg";s:5:"width";i:768;s:6:"height";i:576;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"1536x1536";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:43:"Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville-1536x1152.jpg";s:5:"width";i:1536;s:6:"height";i:1152;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:39:"Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville-80x80.jpg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:13:"wbhm-featured";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:41:"Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville-600x338.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:338;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:20:"wbhm-featured-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:41:"Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville-600x600.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:18:"wbhm-featured-home";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:41:"Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville-415x311.jpg";s:5:"width";i:415;s:6:"height";i:311;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:41:"Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville-353x265.jpg";s:5:"width";i:353;s:6:"height";i:265;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:28:"ab-block-post-grid-landscape";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:41:"Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville-600x400.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:400;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:25:"ab-block-post-grid-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:41:"Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville-600x600.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:41:"Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville-125x125.jpg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}}s:10:"image_meta";a:12:{s:8:"aperture";s:1:"0";s:6:"credit";s:0:"";s:6:"camera";s:0:"";s:7:"caption";s:0:"";s:17:"created_timestamp";s:1:"0";s:9:"copyright";s:0:"";s:12:"focal_length";s:1:"0";s:3:"iso";s:1:"0";s:13:"shutter_speed";s:1:"0";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:11:"orientation";s:1:"0";s:8:"keywords";a:0:{}}}
        )

    [_imagify_optimization_level] => Array
        (
            [0] => 1
        )

    [_imagify_data] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:2:{s:5:"stats";a:3:{s:13:"original_size";i:1064733;s:14:"optimized_size";i:840073;s:7:"percent";d:21.100000000000001;}s:5:"sizes";a:9:{s:4:"full";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:69:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2016/07/Sparks_in_garden_Collegeville.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:1064733;s:14:"optimized_size";i:840073;s:7:"percent";d:21.100000000000001;}s:9:"thumbnail";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:6:"medium";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:5:"large";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:13:"wbhm-featured";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:20:"wbhm-featured-square";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:18:"wbhm-featured-home";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}}}
        )

    [_imagify_status] => Array
        (
            [0] => success
        )

    [_media_credit] => Array
        (
            [0] => La'Nissi Brown
        )

    [_navis_media_credit_org] => Array
        (
            [0] => WBHM
        )

    [_navis_media_can_distribute] => Array
        (
            [0] => 
        )

    [_wp_attachment_image_alt] => Array
        (
            [0] => Vivian Starks in front of her backyard garden at her home in Birmingham's Collegeville neighborhood.
        )

)
1561480244 
1468495854

Vivian Starks, the president of Birmingham’s Collegeville neighborhood, loves being outside in her backyard. One of her favorite things to do there is work in her garden. She enjoys growing plants and raising tomatoes. She can only eat those tomatoes occasionally though because of the contamination in her neighborhood.

Neighborhoods in the city’s North Birmingham community have spent years dealing with soil contamination. North Birmingham, Collegeville, Fairmont, and Harriman contain properties with chemicals generated by factories in the surrounding area. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working on clean up efforts in these neighborhoods since 2013. The agency recently awarded the city of Birmingham a $400,000 grant to test the soil at commercial properties and identify contaminated sites.

The EPA says the city can then go after a grant to clean up and redevelop those sites if possible.

This is on top of decontamination efforts of residential properties already underway. EPA coordinator Richard Jardine oversees that ongoing project. He says the EPA “…maybe have about two more years to go,” reporting they have tested 1,400 residential properties and have about 600 more to go. Jardine says it’s been a challenge to do the work because of “trying to get permission to go on the [vacant] properties.”

Starks says the neighborhood is improving but wonders how long it will take to complete the work. “I don’t know. I don’t even think they know,” she says.

As the EPA continues to clean up North Birmingham, area citizens continue to wait. Starks says it is normal to smell strange scents and see particles coming out of the sky in Collegeville. “All I want is good air, good soil, and good water that’s all,” she says.

She says no one in her neighborhood plants anymore. “Everybody in this area always had pecan trees, peach trees and you can’t go through this neighborhood and find a peach tree now or a good fruit tree,” says Starks, “so that right there is telling you something.”

She loves gardening and hopes that her neighborhood can be the way that it used to be.

 

 

What to know about Alabama abortion rights after SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to an abortion. Here’s what the decision means for the Gulf South region.

Alabama OKs $725M bond sale to build 2 supersize prisons

That money will be added to $135 million in state funds and $400 million in pandemic relief dollars that the state already agreed to put toward the project.

Britt wins tumultuous Alabama Senate race scrambled by Trump

Katie Britt won the Republican nomination for Senate in Alabama Tuesday, defeating six-term Rep. Mo Brooks in a primary runoff after former President Donald Trump took the unusual step of rescinding his initial Brooks endorsement.

2022 Alabama primary runoff results

Republicans will be choosing between Katie Britt and Roy Moore as their nominee for U.S. Senate. Democrats will pick a nominee for governor between Yolonda Flowers and Malika Sanders-Fortier.

Gunman kills 3 seniors over potluck dinner at Alabama church

The suspect, 70-year-old Robert Findlay Smith, was charged with capital murder Friday. He is being held on no bond.

More Environment Coverage