Environment

With Low-Impact Development, Cities Hope to Better Control Runoff

Many cities in Alabama now have ordinances in place to encourage low-impact development. The goal is to reduce the amount of runoff that pollutes and erodes area waterways and better prepare for extreme weather.

Development Fills the Cahaba River with Sediment

Increased construction around Birmingham has led to concerns about the amount of sediment in the Cahaba River.

Two Workers Found Dead After Trench Collapse in Hoover

Two workers were found dead Tuesday evening after a trench collapsed on them in a Hoover neighborhood. The discovery came after an hours-long rescue and recovery effort.

Frustration With Health Department Intensifies as Environmental Groups Seek to Overturn ABC Coke’s Air Permit Renewal

Environmental groups say ABC Coke’s air permit renewal issued in April is flawed and are appealing to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to agree that it does not comply with requirements of the federal Clean Air Act.

New Virus Threatens State’s Cotton Crop

Many of the state’s cotton farmers are monitoring their fields more closely after agriculture officials issued warnings about a new virus threatening their crops.

Putting a Price Tag on a Fish Kill

Last month's wastewater spill at a chicken plant in Hanceville resulted in the largest reported fish kill in years. Environmental groups and residents want to see hefty fines against those responsible for the incident, but how do officials come up with a dollar amount?

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Neighborhoods Want Trust Fund Set Up From Proposed ABC Coke’s Benzene Pollution Case

The North Birmingham community made clear this week that it wants money from an ABC Coke pollution penalty to be used to create a trust fund to benefit residents in the surrounding area.

New Trail That Leads To Red Mountain Park Set To Open In June

The Red Rock Trail System in Jefferson County is opening a new trail this summer. The path will connect more communities to Red Mountain Park in Birmingham.

Trash Talk: Why Doesn’t Birmingham Recycle More?

One way to reduce the amount of trash is to recycle more. That’s a challenge in the city of Birmingham.

Trash Talk: Birmingham’s Litter Problem

Call it what you want: trash, litter, debris … stuff. It seems like it’s everywhere. You’ll find it on front lawns and on busy highways. Officials say trash in the Birmingham area in particular is a problem. Here, we catch up with some of the folks who pick it all up.

Officials Investigate Fish Kill Along Black Warrior River

State officials are looking into a fish kill that happened near Alabama Power’s Plant Gorgas in Walker County. Environmental advocates say they found at least 100 dead fish downstream of the plant.

Scientists Track Alabama Bear Cub Survival Rate

Alabama’s black bear population could be in trouble. Scientists say young bears might be dying before they reach adulthood. Researchers at Auburn University will study the problem with a $1.1 million grant from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Coroner Releases Names of 23 Tornado Victims

The victims in the Lee County tornado range in age from 6 to 89. Most seem to have died in their homes.

Five Ways to Help Lee County Tornado Victims

Got some furniture to donate? Want to give blood? Here are ways you can help the tornado victims in Lee County.

Crews Ramp up the Search for Lee County Tornado Victims

Crews in Lee County Monday kicked the search and recovery efforts into high gear, as officials expect the injury and death toll to rise.

Dozens Still Missing In Alabama After Deadly Tornadoes Hit

In Alabama, Lee County was hardest hit by the series of tornadoes that devastated the state. Authorities put the death toll at 23 so far, with dozens still missing.

Multiple Fatalities Reported After Tornadoes Rip Through Lee County

Several are dead in Lee County after multiple violent tornadoes touched down Sunday in southeast Alabama. The death toll stands at 22 with more expected as search crews look for more victims.

Plant Gorgas Latest Coal Giant to Fall as Power Companies Turn Toward Natural Gas, Renewables

By Hank Black The Alabama Power Co. announcement that it will retire its three coal-fired units at the William Crawford Gorgas Electric Generating Plant on April 15 is just the latest blow to coal power as economic realities pile up on the industry. In the past four years, Alabama Power has reduced its coal-fired units […]

Despite Restoration Efforts, Alabama Oysters Reach Historic Low

With Alabama oysters at a historic low, scientists involved in restoration efforts are finding that what has worked before is no longer working. Now, state biologists are trying something new.

PowerSouth CEO Blames ‘Extremist Environmental Ideology’ for Shuttering a Coal-Fired Plant in South Alabama

One of Alabama’s oldest coal-fired power plants will close next year. PowerSouth Energy Cooperative’s chief executive blamed the closure on “extremist environmental ideologies” and “environmental activists” in announcing that the Charles R. Lowman electrical generation plant on the Tombigbee River would be shuttered.

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Proposed Change to the Clean Water Act Open for Public Comment

The public has 60 days to comment on an EPA proposal that would limit which waterways are protected under the Clean Water Act. In Alabama, environmental groups say the change would have a significant impact.

Drummond to Pay $775,000 Penalty to EPA, Jefferson County Health Department

Drummond Company has agreed to pay a $775,000 civil penalty as part of a settlement contained in a consent decree relating to alleged violations of environmental laws at its ABC Coke Plant in Tarrant.

Uniontown Hopes to Finally Fix its Sewage Problem

The city of Uniontown is set to receive more than $31 million in mostly federal money to address a decades-old sewage issue. But some say the problem should have already been fixed.

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.

After the Destruction, Wetumpka Begins to Recover

Wetumpka began what will likely be a long road to recovery on Sunday, one day after a powerful tornado ripped through the town causing extensive damage to a number of buildings and homes.

LeFleur Still Feeling the Sting From Advocacy Groups’ Condemnation, Responds to Their Criticism

Months after testifying in the North Birmingham bribery trial, the state’s top environmental regulator is firing back at watchdog groups calling for his dismissal or resignation.

Trump’s EPA Seeks to Remove Much of Nation’s Headwaters and Wetlands From Protection

The action principally would remove oversight for small tributary headwaters that do not flow year-round and for wetlands not clearly connected to flowing streams.

Utility Filings Show Coal Ash Ponds Are Too Close to Groundwater Reservoirs. Environment Groups Again Call for Moving Toxic Material

All of Alabama Power Company’s open coal ash ponds sit within five feet of an aquifer, or groundwater reservoir, in violation of federal standards, recent company filings confirm.

Trey Glenn Resigns as EPA Regional Administrator After Indictment

Trey Glenn resigned Sunday as EPA Region 4 administrator for Alabama and seven other southeastern states following his indictment on multiple felony ethics charges last week in Jefferson County.

Residents and Activists Oppose ABC Coke Air Permit

Speakers at the first hearing Thursday asked the Jefferson County Department of Health not to renew the emissions permit for ABC Coke. Companies with air emissions are required to have permits renewed every four or five years, the health department says.

EPA Southeast Administrator, Former ADEM Commissioner Indicted on State Ethics Charges

A former director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, who’s now the regional administrator for the EPA, has been indicted on state ethics charges related to the case in which an executive of Drummond Corporation and a partner in the Balch and Bingham law firm were convicted earlier this year.

Birmingham Council Members Push Back Against Road in Watershed That Protects Drinking Water

The Birmingham City Council appears set to oppose construction of the controversial Cahaba Beach road and bridge project across the Little Cahaba River.