Environment

Groups Ask Ivey to Push for New State Environmental Leaders

Environmental groups have asked Gov. Kay Ivey to take steps to remove from office state environmental officials who were implicated during the recent bribery trial over a plan to block the expansion of a Superfund toxic waste site in Tarrant and Inglenook.

ALDOT Pitches Options for Little Cahaba River Bridge. Opponents Warn of Immediate and Permanent Harm to Drinking Water

Traffic authorities seeking to extend a road across the Little Cahaba River in southern Jefferson County promised Tuesday to make it a controlled access road and prevent adjacent development in the watershed that protects metropolitan Birmingham’s drinking water supply.

Cahaba Beach Road Project: Too Dangerous For Our Drinking Water? River Advocates Say Yes.

By Hank Black The ongoing fight over extending Cahaba Beach Road from U.S. 280 across the Little Cahaba River will heat up with another public meeting scheduled for Tuesday. Highway engineers will present an update from a meeting a year ago concerning the project’s impact on the river. The Little Cahaba is a vital link […]

Local NAACP Leader Says He’s Not Resigning Following Concerns Over Bribery Trial

The local NAACP president says he’s not stepping down amid calls for his resignation. Testimony and emails presented in a recent federal bribery trial showed Hezekiah Jackson through his contacts worked to convince North Birmingham residents not to have their soil tested for contamination.

Severe Storms Bring Extensive Damage to North and East Alabama

Crews with the National Weather Service are assessing the damage Tuesday morning after severe storms tore through the area.

Severe Storm Development Around Alabama

Two waves of severe weather are expected today around the state, including supercell thunderstorms, according to the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.

Trump Plan Would Open Most US Waters to Drilling, Including Gulf

The Trump administration announced Thursday it’s planning to allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in more than 90 percent of U.S. waters, including the Gulf of Mexico. The administration would also offer a record number of leases to energy firms. Of those 47, 12 would be in the Gulf if the plan is approved.

Unique Alabama Salamander Now Federally Protected

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday that it would protect a rare Alabama salamander under the Endangered Species Act. The Black Warrior waterdog, sometimes called the Alabama mudpuppy, is large, strange, and found only in the state.

Endangered Whooping Cranes Are Coming Back

A couple extra wild birds in a creek doesn’t seem too important … until you realize that not long ago, there were barely twenty of them in the world. Whooping cranes are the tallest bird in America and they can live into their thirties, but that didn’t keep them from near-extinction. Now, though, thanks decades of cooperation, they’re making a comeback.

AEC Marks 50 Years of Lessons Learned

The Alabama Environmental Council turned 50 this year. The home-grown group has been dedicated to preserving wilderness across the state. Over the last few decades, the organization has faced challenges adjusting to the political climate, and it’s evolved to meet changing environmental needs. But as AEC board chairman Keith Johns tells WBHM's Dan Carsen, its biggest success has been getting people and businesses to see the value of setting aside land.

Denver or Bust! UAB Solar House Heads to the Rockies for Competition

After a little blood spilled, a lot of sweat poured and a few tears were shed, a team of UAB students, faculty, staff and alumni is in Denver to compete in the 2017 Solar Decathlon.

Some Irma Evacuees Remain at Talladega Superspeedway

Though most of nearly 200 Irma evacuees from Florida have left Talladega Superspeedway, there are still roughly 60 people in recreational vehicles there.

Heading Into the Path of the Storm

As many people flee Hurricane Irma, some are heading right into its path. Irma is barreling towards Florida and is expected to make landfall tomorrow. David Goodwin, with the American Red Cross in Birmingham, headed to Florida to help.

Bleached Creek Highlights ADEM Shortfalls, Say Critics

Alabama has some of the most ecologically rich waters in the world. But the agency tasked with monitoring them gets less funding per resident than in any other state. Some complain the Alabama Department of Environmental Management is not doing its job. They point to a contaminated creek in Shelby County as on example.

Climate Change Analysis Predicts Losses for South

Scientists and economists have put together a detailed analysis of potential economic damage from climate change. One takeaway: Alabama and the rest of the South could suffer more than other parts of the country.

The Ripple Effect When a Giant Iceberg Breaks Away From Antarctica

This week, scientists watched an iceberg the size of Delaware break away from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf. The mass of ice that broke off weighs about a trillion tons. It’ll eventually melt, but as UAB polar biologist and Antarctic explorer Jim McClintock tells WBHM’s Dan Carsen, there are some long-term concerns.

UAB Unveils Completely Solar-Powered House for Upcoming Competition

The project is part of the 2017 Solar Decathlon competition taking place in Denver this October. UAB is competing against 12 other teams from around the world to see which team can build the best, completely solar-powered, full-size home.

When the Nation’s Top Polluter Drives a Small-Town Economy

The Miller Electric Generating Plant in West Jefferson is the nation's top greenhouse gas polluter. But it's boosted the town's economy, and many residents aren't concerned about pollution.

New Report Ranks Alabama Second-Worst in Drinking Water Pollution

Contaminants called perfluorinated chemicals or PFC’s have been detected in the drinking water according to findings released on June 8 by The Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization, in conjunction with researchers at Northeastern University.

Woodlawn Students Growing a Healthier Neighborhood

Where some see blight and signs of economic decline, others see potential. Under the flight path of Birmingham’s airport and a stone's throw from busy railroad tracks, almost a dozen Woodlawn High School environmental science students are planting fruit trees. It's part of a partnership between the school, the Woodlawn Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy that's transforming vacant lots into lush landscapes meant to benefit the neighborhood.

Potential Cuts to EPA Funding Threaten Alabama’s Natural Resources

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget calls for huge cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. The Trump administration wants to reduce EPA funding from about $8 billion to about $5 billion. The budget would also slash the agency’s workforce by about 20 percent.

Birmingham: A Community that Speaks for the Trees

As you travel around Birmingham, you might notice signs that billing it as “Tree City USA.” The city was given the designation because of its sprawling urban forest. The term urban forest refers to the tree-top landscape seen in some major cities, especially ones in the South. However, the issue is how to balance the vitality and existence of Birmingham’s trees with the city’s planned renaissance and expansion.

Colonial Pipeline’s Shocking Safety History

Colonial Pipeline has a shocking history of what federal regulators call “significant incidents.” Its track record for safety is far worse than some other pipeline companies in the South. Colonial is currently under federal investigation following the gas leak and subsequent explosion that killed two people near Helena.

First Rain After Drought is Both Good and Bad

Groups that monitor Alabama’s waterways say there are some drawbacks and are warning of potential health risks found in and around rivers and streams.

Alabama Cattle Ranchers Hit Hard by Drought

After months of warm, dry weather, it did finally rain this week. But a few days of precipitation won’t erase months of drought. The lack of rainfall has crippled the state’s $2 billion cattle industry. The drought has forced ranchers to buy hay from out-of-state and if the dry weather persists this winter, things could get a lot worse for farmers and their herds.

New “Nutritional Labels” For Trails Go Up At Oak Mountain

Hikers and runners who use trails at Oak Mountain State Park south of Birmingham have a new tool to help guide their outdoor fun. They’re trail signs, but they’re more than simple markers.

One Dead, Several Injured After Gas Pipe Explodes in Shelby County

Colonial Pipeline owns and operates the line located off Grey Hill Road near McCalla which funnels gas to millions of people. It has since been shut down.

AL Climatologists: Current Drought Once in a Lifetime Phenomenon

State climatologists say the ongoing drought in some areas of Alabama is a phenomenon seen roughly once in a lifetime. The U.S. Drought Monitor rates stricken areas on a scale of D1 to D4, four being areas of exceptional drought. Northeast and north-central Alabama including Jefferson County are at a D3 or above. “For the […]

Several Alabama Counties Under Drought Emergency

The Alabama Drought Declaration issued Tuesday comes after conditions across the stare continue to degrade due to little rainfall and above normal temperatures.

Broken Gas Pipe Removed, Investigation Underway

An investigation is underway into what caused a gas pipeline to start leaking near Helena. Officials with Colonial Pipeline say the broken pipe was removed over the weekend and sent to an outside firm for investigation. Crews constructed a 500 foot bypass to circumvent the broken pipe before it was removed. Colonial says they identified […]

Urban Dwellers Making a Push to Save Disappearing Honeybee

A quote about the honeybee made famous by an anonymous thinker states, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.” As ominous as that sounds it’s not far from true. Bees play an extremely important role in the production of crops and the […]

Gas Flowing Through Pipeline Again, Environmental Groups Following Cleanup

Gasoline is flowing once again through a pipeline that carries fuel to several southeastern states. But, it could still be several days until fuel delivery is back to normal. Crews worked day and night for nearly two weeks constructing a 500-foot bypass off a broken gas pipeline. Officials with Colonial Pipeline – the company that […]