Because as LeFleur and ADEM have shown again and again, these people aren’t people at all, but rather the industries that make it unsafe for real people to live.
If there’s one thing that people across the political spectrum can agree on, it’s this: When a granddad takes his grandchildren to fish in the river, when they catch a fish, they should be able to eat that fish without worry of impairing the little ones’ brain development.
That won’t be a problem on the Mulberry Fork. For a while, at least, there won’t be any fish there to catch.
And it’s not just the fish, either. It’s the water. The water we play in. The water we drink.
In April, 3M reported to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management that it was discharging chemicals that are illegal to put into water. But records show that the state of Alabama had been alerted for years and did not stop the continued release of the toxic chemical into the Tennessee River.
Tyson bought American Proteins for a reported $850 million last year, when the chicken giant brought in $40 billion in revenue – the gross domestic product of the entire country of Jordan.
If Tyson were fined a million dollars it would add up to .003 percent of its income – the equivalent of a cup of coffee for a guy who makes $100,000 a year. Nothing.
Honestly, we are to the point now that we’re probably worse off with ADEM than without. We should take the money that we’re apparently wasting on that staff and give it to the various Riverkeeper groups around Alabama. Hell, they find half of the problems, and provide much more honest and thorough reports, and do a much better job notifying the general public of problems than ADEM ever has.
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.
The Mulberry Fork has experienced a massive fish kill over the past few days. Tyson Foods’ River Valley ingredients plant had a large wastewater spill on Thursday, leaving residents to find hundreds of dead fish floating downstream.
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.
Hillary McKnight stomped along the banks of Aldridge Creek in Huntsville, Alabama on a cloudy March morning, trying to scare off snakes before she picked up a plastic water bottle on the water’s edge.
It was her second creek cleanup in two weeks after learning the bottles break down over time into microplastics — tiny plastic pieces less than 5 millimeters in length — that pollute waterways. Conservation group Tennessee Riverkeeper organized the event as part of their campaign to respond to growing concerns over plastic pollution in Southeastern waterways. A 2018 study identified the Tennessee River as one of the most heavily polluted by plastics in the world.
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”.
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.
The river is changing, and it’s changing quickly.
The biggest culprit, Butler says, is the massive, rapid development throughout much of the watershed, as fields and forests turn into subdivisions, stores, and parking lots. That’s less sensational or obvious than toxic waste barrels being dumped into the water, but it still can cause problems.
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.