Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant: Trey Glenn Edition

by | Feb 13, 2019

Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant: Trey Glenn Edition

by Feb 13, 2019Clean Air Journal

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).



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.



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.



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:


About Kirsten Bryant
Kirsten was with GASP from the very beginning: first as a founding board member, then as our first part-time executive director, and finally as deputy director. Kirsten hopes future generations will inherit a healthy Alabama where clean air and water are valued and protected. She retired from GASP in 2022 after more than a decade of service to the organization.
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