AirBeam Saga Part III: Analyzing Pollution Data in Five Local Parks

AirBeam Saga Part III: Analyzing Pollution Data in Five Local Parks

After conducting an air study around three major public high schools, I decided to conduct some testing around Birmingham’s local parks. The five parks tested were Elyton, Lynn, Greenwood, Avondale, and Homewood Park. I tested each park over a period of three days, and I spent around five minutes walking around each park.

Day 1:

On the first day of testing, I noticed how different the parks were from each other. In Elyton and Lynn Park, there were no people around. I was quite happy by …

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The AirBeam Saga Part II: Placement and Testing Around 3 Birmingham High Schools

The AirBeam Saga Part II: Placement and Testing Around 3 Birmingham High Schools

Once I was able to understand how to connect the AirBeam to my phone, and to input data into its open source map, AirCasting, I was finally able to test the pollution around Birmingham. To learn how to connect the AirBeam to your phone, and how to operate AirCasting, check out my previous blog post here.

The sunroof was closed almost completely shut, except for a tiny space to allow the rope to go through. This allowed the AirBeam to be securely placed at the top of …

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EPA to Live-Stream Civil Rights Public Meeting

EPA to Live-Stream Civil Rights Public Meeting

This story has been updated with the webcast link and to correct the time of the event.

The. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it is hosting a public meeting at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 1 from 3–6 p.m. The meeting will be live-streamed via webcast and teleconference. The call-in number is 877-887-8949 and the conference ID is 58156799. Registration is optional.

Register

Last month the EPA released what’s called a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” to modify how it addresses discrimination …

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Alabama Ranked 5th Most Polluted State for Particle Pollution

Alabama Ranked 5th Most Polluted State for Particle Pollution

HealthGrove, a website that offers news and data analysis about health topics, has named Alabama’s air pollution the fifth worst in the nation. Specifically, their researchers analyzed fine particulate matter data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you’re new to air quality measures, it’s important first to understand what we’re talking about here. Fine particle pollution refers to microscopic solid and liquid droplets in the air we all breathe that are less than 2.5 micrometers (µm, or microns) in diameter. Also known as PM 2.5, …

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Citizen Science Movement Can Help Solve Birmingham’s Pollution Problem

Citizen Science Movement Can Help Solve Birmingham’s Pollution Problem

On Tuesday, I sent a letter to Heather McTeer Toney, EPA Region IV administrator, asking that her agency invest in “next generation” air monitoring in Birmingham to gather data, empower citizens and improve public health for northern Birmingham communities. “It has been established that the ambient air quality in northern Birmingham communities is unhealthy,” I wrote, “despite claims from local regulatory agencies to the contrary.”

Residents in northern Birmingham communities have known for decades that the soot covering their homes is likely affecting their health. Recent …

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Gasp Wins Hermes Creative Award for ‘Toxic City: Birmingham’s Dirty Secret’

Gasp Wins Hermes Creative Award for ‘Toxic City: Birmingham’s Dirty Secret’

Updated on Tuesday, May 5 to include link to film.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Gasp is proud to announce that “Toxic City: Birmingham’s Dirty Secret” won a Gold Hermes Creative Award in the documentary category. The award is given by the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals. To celebrate this honor, Gasp announced that it is making the film available online for free starting May 5 at gaspgroup.org/toxicbham.

Directed by Hunter Nichols, the 26-minute film tells the story of the people affected by historic and ongoing industrial air pollution …

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Board of Health Dismisses Gasp’s Request for Hearing on ABC Coke Permit

Board of Health Dismisses Gasp’s Request for Hearing on ABC Coke Permit

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2011 named ABC Coke — one of Alabama’s worst toxic air polluters — a potentially responsible party for contamination in northern Birmingham. ABC Coke’s Title V Operating Permit was up for renewal last year, and Gasp organized nearby communities and helped residents file comments on the proposed permit.

However, the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) re-issued ABC Coke’s permit without significant changes on Aug. 11, 2014, missing a key opportunity to reduce air pollution and protect the health of …

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Update on Gasp’s Appeal of the ABC Coke Permit

Update on Gasp’s Appeal of the ABC Coke Permit

Gasp has been raising awareness of the toxic air pollution affecting Birmingham since our inception. As soon as the EPA named the potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) for the contamination in the 35th Avenue Superfund Site, we got to work advocating for stronger Title V air pollution permits, regulatory transparency, and accountability for decades of environmental injustice.

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Last year, the permits for two of those PRPs — ABC Coke and Walter Coke — were up for renewal with JCDH, so we activated the surrounding …

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Civil Rights Complaint Alleges Environmental Discrimination by Health Department

Civil Rights Complaint Alleges Environmental Discrimination by Health Department

 

Gasp petitions EPA to investigate environmental discrimination in northern Birmingham neighborhoods suffering from toxic air pollution

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (March 3, 2015) — Gasp today announced that it has filed a second civil rights complaint against the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in as many months. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex. Over the past several years, JCDH has …

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Gasp Files Civil Rights Complaint Against JCDH

Gasp Files Civil Rights Complaint Against JCDH

Gasp has filed a civil rights environmental discrimination complaint with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency against the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) for its issuance of the operating permit for ABC Coke, a division of Drummond Company located in Tarrant, Ala. on Aug. 11, 2014.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes Title VI, a statute that prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, or sex by recipients of federal financial assistance. Over the past several years, JCDH has received millions of dollars in financial …

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