Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant: Trey Glenn Edition
This post focuses on former EPA Region 4 Administrator and former ADEM Director Trey Glenn’s alleged involvement in the EPA/Superfund corruption scandal in our “Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant” series.
Today’s spotlight is on Trey Glenn, who until recently served as EPA’s Region 4 Administrator, appointed by President Trump. When the illegal activities were occurring, the corruption-adjacent activities were executed by many, including Trey Glenn. Glenn was indicted on state ethics charges on November 13, 2018 and resigned on November 18, 2018.
At the time that the criminal behavior of Robinson, Gilbert and Roberson occurred, Glenn was part owner of SE+C Consulting. SE+C was hired by Drummond for technical consulting and community outreach under the guise of “Get Smart Tarrant” to the public.
Get Smart Tarrant was, in reality, nothing more than an astroturf front group — a sophisticated misinformation campaign was paid for by Drummond and The Alliance for Jobs and the Economy (AJE) — a group we will touch on in later posts. Get Smart Tarrant was developed and executed by a consortium including: Balch & Bingham, former State Representative Oliver Robison, SE+C, and individuals who worked for or contracted with the aforementioned entities.
Below are exhibits from the 2018 USA v. Gilbert et al trial. This evidence relates to Glenn’s activities stemming from a contract between SE+C and Balch & Bingham:
1) Trey Glenn utilized his connections and experiences to “sell” SE+C Consulting to Drummond and Balch & Bingham as the right contractors for their important job at hand — oppose EPA’s efforts in north Birmingham and Tarrant. One specific way Glenn undermined GASP’s work was sending an advance copy of GASP’s intended presentation to the ADEM EMC in December of 2014 (Glenn received the presentation from Scott Phillips, who you will hear more about in another post, and Glenn then sent that presentation to Joel Gilbert).
- Exhibit 142-2013.10.10 Trey Glenn Proposal to BalchExhibit 143-October 2013
- Emails Between Trey Glenn and David Moore (Balch)
- Exhibit 156-Trey Glenn Description of SE+C Work
- Exhibit 13-Phillips sends final GASP presentation to Trey Glenn
2) SE+C played a significant role in designing and executing the opposition efforts against listing the 35th Avenue Superfund site on the National Priority List (NPL). Had the NPL listing been successful, the hundreds of additional properties in north Birmingham may have been cleaned up; funds could have been allocated to a community group working on these issues; and relocation for those who want it might even be on the table.
- Exhibit 76-Joel Gilbert and Trey Glenn Edits to Oliver Robinson Letter to LeFluer Asking for Communications With Various Parties About NPL
- Exhibit 149-September 2014 Emails With Trey Glenn , Lance Lefluer , Scott Philips, and SM Re Comments Against NPL Listing
- Exhibit 10-2014.12.10 JG email to Scott Philips , Trey Glenn and others Re EPA meeting with city officials re NPL
- Exhibit 151-2014.10.17 Trey Glenn Email to Balch, Drummond and Scott Philips Meetings with ADEM about NPL and Status of PA
- Exhibit 148-2014.6.27 SM email to Joel Gilbert , Trey Glenn and Scott Philips Re Finding Information on LeFleur’s concurrence in NPL Listing
- Exhibit 21-Trey Glenn Asking Lanier Brown (current AEMC member) to Send Balch White Paper to Commissioners
- Exhibit 62-Scott Philips Email to Joel Gilbert Re Connecting Lanier Brown and Oliver Robinson.
3) Engaging with and misinforming community members was an intentional strategy of Balch and Drummond. Trey Glenn’s firm (SE+C) was the lead designer of the Community & Stakeholder Outreach Strategy.
- Exhibit 154 – 2015.2.19 Scott Phillips email to Joel Gilbert/David Roberson, copying Trey Glenn discussing Community and Stakeholder strategy.
4) Trey Glenn was involved in pressuring ADEM to oppose EPA’s efforts to investigate Tarrant. In 2014, GASP petitioned EPA to investigate potential contamination issues in Tarrant. The EPA agreed to investigate and concluded that their initial findings warranted further testing.
The billing documents from SE+C provide interesting insights into the depth and expense of this operation:
Kirsten has been with GASP from the very beginning as a founding board member, then as a part-time executive director, and now as outreach director. Kirsten hopes future generations will inherit a healthy Alabama where clean air and water are valued and protected. Email Kirsten