Securing Environmental Justice for Northern Birmingham: What’s Next?

Securing Environmental Justice for Northern Birmingham: What’s Next?

Tidying up my family’s summer vegetable and flower gardens brought some calmness to a hectic week. With every season and year that passes, playing in the dirt as therapy gains greater significance for me. I recall when my boys (now teenagers) were young, giving them a shovel and dirt or just being outside would provide hours of entertainment. Maybe the simplicity of the activity throws our souls back to a slower time. I don’t know.

Residents in northern Birmingham neighborhoods are not able to benefit from …

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Is Attorney General’s Office Stonewalling Gasp for Political Purposes?

Is Attorney General’s Office Stonewalling Gasp for Political Purposes?

If you’ve been following the North Birmingham corruption investigation involving Drummond Company, Balch & Bingham, and former Rep. Oliver Robinson, you know that our work is a huge part of the story. (Robinson plead guilty on Sept 7.) Yesterday, al.com’s John Archibald reported that newly appointed U.S. Attorney Jay Town is asking for patience in the ongoing corruption investigation — which suggests more indictments may very well be on their way.

We’re trying to do our part to ensure everyone responsible for wrongdoing is held accountable. That’s why we sent …

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Press Release: Gasp Calls on Sessions to Recuse Himself

Press Release: Gasp Calls on Sessions to Recuse Himself

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gasp Calls on Jeff Sessions to Recuse Himself from North Birmingham Corruption Investigation

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Sept. 6, 2017) — Gasp, a Birmingham-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the reduction of air pollution through education and advocacy, has asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the ongoing investigation into public corruption related to the 35th Avenue Superfund Site in northern Birmingham.

The letter to Sessions reads, in part:

“Due to your well-documented connections to these two powerful companies, Balch & Bingham and Drummond Company, …

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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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