In N. Birmingham EPA Studies ‘Cumulative Impacts’ Of Pollution And Racism

"With the EPA review ongoing at the 35th Avenue Superfund site, the Southern Environmental Law Center on Friday threatened new federal litigation against Bluestone Coke for alleged wastewater pollution."

"BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The question hangs over three Black neighborhoods in industrial north Birmingham that, together, compose the 35th Avenue Superfund site: What does the future hold—revitalization, or relocation?

The Environmental Protection Agency has all but finished removing toxic soil from the small yards of about 650 homes in Collegeville, Harriman Park and Fairmont. The soil had come decades ago from nearby coke plants as yard fill, but was laced with arsenic, lead and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), a hydrocarbon, elevating cancer risks. The massive clean-up has now been paused, with just a few difficult-to-access properties remaining.

But Charlie Powell, who spent 42 of his 70 years in Fairmont and still has property, and family, in the neighborhood, doesn’t think there’s enough left in the communities to save, after decades of pollution from all the surrounding industry—coke, asphalt, cement and lumber—and all the redlining and racist zoning."

Vernon Loeb reports for Inside Climate News July 16, 2023.

Source: Inside Climate News, 07/18/2023