The Sipsey Heritage Commission announced Tuesday they’ll be suing Tyson Foods for “the assault” on the Black Warrior River.
Chris Greene with the state fisheries department says their conservative estimate is that 175,000 fish were killed.
He called the incident “significant” and said it will take some time to replenish the river.
Locals are calling on Tyson Foods, which owns the company that spilled this waste water, to clean up their operations.
American Proteins had a large wastewater spill (undisclosed amount) sometime yesterday, which caused a massive fish kill. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries (DCNR) and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) are conducting an investigation into the wastewater spill and resulting fish kill today. Unfortunately, everyone should avoid contact with the Mulberry Fork downstream until further notice.
American Proteins [1170 Co. Rd. 508 | Hanceville, AL 35077 (256) 352-9821)], which they say is the largest rendering plant in the world, is now owned by Tyson. The sprawling plant receives chicken carcasses from slaughterhouses across Alabama and cooks them down into protein products. This facility has a history of spills and fish kills due to poor housekeeping and maintenance.
The Coosa Riverkeeper, a watchdog organization that monitors water quality along the Coosa’s 220-mile path through Alabama, spoke out after the utility last week was fined $250,000 for pollutants found in groundwater near the Gadsden Ash Pond on the banks of the river.
“We firmly believe that leaving the ash to sit in an unlined pit and pollute the nearby groundwater for decades to come is irresponsible,” said Justinn Overton, the Riverkeeper’s executive director.
Coal ash is a by-product created when coal is burned for electricity. Plant Gadsden stopped burning coal in March 2015 and finished closing the pond in 2018, implementing monitoring wells it committed to checking for pollutants.
An Alabama federal judge has ruled that Drummond Company is violating the Clean Water Act at its Maxine Mine site by continuously discharging acid mine drainage into the Black Warrior River’s Locust Fork. In an order issued May 7, Judge Abdul Kallon rejected Drummond’s arguments that the Clean Water Act does not apply to ongoing pollution originating from a substantial coalmine waste pile left when mining operations ceased.
The lawsuit was filed in 2016 by Black Warrior Riverkeeper, represented by SELC and Public Justice. This week’s ruling granted Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s motion for summary judgment seeking to hold Drummond liable for these discharges. Additional liability claims by Black Warrior Riverkeeper, as well as the determination of an appropriate remedy for the site, will be determined later at trial.
West Jefferson, Alabama, a somnolent town of around 420 people north-west of Birmingham, was an unlikely venue to seize the national imagination. Now, it has the misfortune to be forever associated with the “poop train”.
On March 3, a tornado outbreak struck several southern states in the U.S., including Alabama, where a monster of a tornado reached estimated wind speeds of 170 mph. It left a path of destruction more than 20 miles long in Lee County, killing 23 people and injuring at least 100 others. In the days since, survivors have been picking through the pieces of their homes, recovering what they can, as they try to determine their next steps.
Last week, the Birmingham City Council unanimously passed a resolution to oppose Cahaba Beach Road, a proposed project which would allow the Alabama Department of Transportation to build a road and bridge through the heart of an undeveloped area that safeguards Birmingham’s drinking water.
Along with numerous conservation organizations, local communities and elected officials, SELC and partners Cahaba River Society and Cahaba Riverkeeper have expressed serious concerns about the project’s harm to drinking water quality for the Birmingham region.
Where I’m from, we like guns. They are as much a part of our story as Jesus, “Roll Tide,” and monograms. Even if you’ve never shot one, you appreciate the romance.
Lagging behind neighboring states for decades, Alabama has gone through multiple droughts without a water management plan to help conserve water and protect the state’s rivers and streams during times of scarcity. The lack of a plan also puts Alabama at a disadvantage as the state navigates through competing water demands.
After years of advocating for a comprehensive plan and participating in the AWAWG focus panels, SELC and Alabama Rivers Alliance have been anxiously awaiting the release of the report to help inform leadership at the state level and provide guidelines for good water stewardship and protection. But discernable progress toward a plan has been slow, and appeared to be further hindered when the current governor announced plans to disband the AWAWG late last year. Governor Kay Ivey’s decision put the responsibility of developing a plan back on the Alabama Office of Water Resources and the Alabama Water Resources Commission.
Residents in and near Birmingham have been in uproar over sewage that is transported by train and truck from New York and New Jersey to be dumped in the southern state.
The treated sewage – euphemistically known in the industry as “biosolids” – has plagued residents with a terrible stench, flies and concerns that spilled sludge has leaked into waterways.
Womack, a retired army major who grew up in the area and is now the leader of a local environmental justice group, has parked on a patch of dirt under a stories-high interstate bridge, wedged between a paper mill, oil storage tanks and an industrial railroad.
Between the tangle of heavy industry, it’s about as close as you can still get to the area where the Clotilda and the 110 kidnapped west Africans aboard are said to have first touched ground – and where the remains of what might in fact be the ship were recently discovered, thanks to unusual weather conditions.
It is hard to imagine how many oysters were present in Mobile Bay before we got here. It is hard, even, to understand how many there were just 100 years ago. According to AL.com calculations, it is likely we have removed about 1.8 billion adult oysters from the bay in the last century.
The racial element of America’s poverty crisis is seen nowhere more clearly than in the Deep South, where the open wounds of slavery continue to bleed. The UN special rapporteur chose as his next stop the “Black Belt,” the term that originally referred to the rich dark soil that exists in a band across Alabama but over time came to describe its majority African American population.
The link between soil type and demographics was not coincidental. Cotton was found to thrive in this fertile land, and that in turn spawned a trade in slaves to pick the crop. Their descendants still live in the Black Belt, still mired in poverty among the worst in the union.
A United Nations official investigating poverty in the United States was shocked at the level of environmental degradation in some areas of rural Alabama, saying he had never seen anything like it in the developed world.
“I think it’s very uncommon in the First World. This is not a sight that one normally sees. I’d have to say that I haven’t seen this,” Philip Alston, the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, told Connor Sheets of AL.com earlier this week as they toured a community in Butler County where “raw sewage flows from homes through exposed PVC pipes and into open trenches and pits.”