Alliance Supports Lawsuit Against ADEM Director for Adopting Invalid Discrimination Procedures
Feb. 14, 2019 -- In an effort to comply with EPA regulations and secure the continued receipt of millions of
dollars in grant funding from EPA, ADEM has adopted environmental discrimination grievance procedures.
These procedures are supposed to be followed when persons complain that ADEM actions have subjected
them to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex. Under these procedures, ADEM is
required to determine if it has jurisdiction over a complaint, and if it does, to investigate the complaint and
provide a prompt and fair resolution of the complaint.
Unfortunately, the procedures are invalid for a number of reasons. First, they were adopted by the Director
of ADEM who lacks the authority adopt "rules" and "environmental policies." Second, they were adopted
without public notice and public comment required by two statutes. And third, the Legislature did not grant
ADEM authority to consider discrimination on the baasis of race, color, national origin, or sex in any
administrative decision. Thus, the procedures cannot provide a meaningful resolution of any complaints
alleging such discrimination.
Five Black individuals residing in three different counties in Alabama have filed a lawsuit against the Director of ADEM contesting the validity of the procedures in
hopes that the Legislature will grant ADEM the authority to consider racial discrimination in its administrative decisions, that the procedures wll be subjected to public
notice and comment, and that the procedures will be adopted by the Alabama Environmental Management Commission.
The Alliance is providing financial support to enable the Black residents to seek justice. Donations to the Alliance will help pay for litigation costs.
    Alliance Prepared to Sue EPA Over Alabama Water Toxics Decision  * * Donations Needed * *
Feb. 1, 2019 -- On April 10, 2018, the EPA denied a "Petition for Determiniation That the Promulgation of New or Revised Water
Quality Standards Are Necessary in the State of Alabama to Meet the Requirements of the Clean Water Act and to Prepare Proposed
Regulations Setting Forth New or Revised Water Quality Standards for the State of Alabama" submitted by the Alliance and others on
February 3, 2017. EPA's decision, however, failed to consider all relevant facts and failed to correctly apply the law. Specifically, EPA
failed to consider the fact that Alabama has repeatedly failed to revise its standards for toxic pollutants and failed to correctly apply
Clean Water Act provisions requiring States to frequently adopt or revise standards for toxic pollutants. The Alliance is prepared to file
suit against EPA if adequate funds can be raised.
    Alliance Urges Alabama Environmental Management Commission to be More Transparent #3
Dec. 14, 2018 -- The Alliance presented detailed recommendations to the Alabama Environmental
Management Commission on the management of electronic mail. A slide presentation entitled "Out of
the Shadows: Conducting Public Business on Private Email" was made. https://adobe.ly/2WgT2bN
Only two of the seven commissioners offered comments or asked questions concerning the
presentation -- Chairman Samuel Miller and former Chairman Lanier Brown. All others remained silent.
The full Commission took no action on the Alliance recommendations. Click on the image to the right
to watch the video.
Government Accountability
    Alliance Urges Alabama Environmental Management Commission to be More Transparent #2
Oct. 19, 2018 -- Alliance board member Mark Johnston asked the Alabama Environmental
Management Commission what it has done or plans to do to respond to the Alliance's transparency
recommendations submitted on September 27, 2018 (https://adobe.ly/2WjEojZ). No member of the
Commission responded to his questions. The Commission's silence was deafening! Click on the
image to the right to watch the video.
    Alliance Urges Alabama Environmental Management Commission to be More Transparent #1
Sep. 27, 2018 -- In a letter to the AEMC, the Alliance cautioned that public confidence in ADEM and the AEMC has been seriously
compromised by the actions of AEMC members and ADEM officials that came to light during the criminal trial of Balch & Bingham, LLC
attorney Joel Gilbert and Drummond Company, Inc. Vice-President David Roberson. AEMC members and ADEM officials exchanged phone
calls, emails, and documents with these now convicted felons in a concerted effort to obstruct EPA's efforts to remove soil contamination in
North Birmingham that Drummond might have to pay for -- regardless of the consequences on Black residents living in North Birmingham.
The Alliance presented specific recommendations to the AEMC to ensure transparency in all communications with regulated and
non-regulated parties. Click on the image to the right to read the Alliance recommendations.
    Alliance Urges Alabama Environmental Management Commission to Advise ADEM Director
    to Abandon Opposition to 35th Avenue Cleanup Project
Aug. 17, 2018 -- The Alliance presented a statement to the Alabama Environmental Management
Commission urging the Commission to (1) advise the ADEM Director to withdraw his objections to
EPA's cleanup of the contaminated North Birminghan site; (2) advise the Director of ADEM to conduct
an ethics investigation of former commissioner W. Scott Phillips; (3) rescind the Commission's
resolution of gratitude to former commissioner W. Scott Phillips; and (4) end the practice of using
private email for conducting public business. The Alliance also asked AEMC Chair Lanier Brown to
disclose all emails he sent or received and all meetings he participated in regarding the North
Birmingham site or to resign. The full statement is at http://bit.ly/2Ov0Q59. Click on the image to
the right to watch the video.
    Alliance Urges Alabama Environmental Management Commission to be More Transparent #1
    Alliance Urges Alabama Environmental Management Commission to be More Transparent #4
Feb. 15, 2019 -- The Alliance presented statutes authorizing the Commission to adopt rules
prescribing requirements for use of a state email system, rather than a personal or private business
email system (Ala.Code 1975 s. 8-1A-18; A.G. Op. 2009-084); requiring public records to be
maintained at the offiice of the Commission, rather than at the commissioners' residence or place
of business (Ala. Code 1975 s. 36-12-2; A.G. Op. 97-235); requiring former Commission members
to deliver all public records to their successors in office (Ala. Code 1975 s. 36-12-4); authorizing
successors to demand and sue to recover public records in the posssession of their predecessors
(Ala. Code 1975 ss. 36-12-4, 36-12-20, 36-12-36); and to preserve and not destroy public records
(Ala. Code 1975 ss. 41-13-21, 13A-10-12). It is hoped that the Commission will reform its
management of emails and other public records to ensure their continued availabiility and to
prevent their intentional or inadvertent destruction.
     Alliance Supports Black Residents' Lawsuit Challenging Validity of ADEM Landfill Rules  ** VICTORY **
Oct. 11, 2019 -- The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals unanimously (5 judges) held that the ADEM rules allowing landfill wastes to be covered with materials other than
earth are invalid because they exceed the the agency's statutory authority. The Court reversed the decision of the trial court and directed that the trial court enter a
judgment in favor of the plaintiffs. All landfill wastes in Alabama must now be covered with earth. The decision may be read at http://bit.ly/35sAFWz.
Jan. 23, 2019 -- The Alliance is providing financial support to allow three Black residents to appeal a circuit court decision upholding ADEM rules that allow landfill
wastes to be covered with materials other than earth. These alternative materials include tarps, petroleum contaminated soil, coal ash, and automotive shredder
residue. As a result of using these alternative materials, the residents claim they are suffering exposure to offensive odors and disease-carrying insects, rodents, and
other animals and reduced property values. The basis of their appeal is language in State law that specifies that waste shall be covered daily with six inches of
compacted earth. The Alliance seeks additional contributions to support this appeal.
The Environmental Defense Alliance believes that misguided decisions made by state and federal regulatory agencies can have significant adverse impacts on human health and the quality of the environment.  Accordingly, the Alliance has undertaken, and will continue to undertake, actions to ensure that agency decision-making is transparent, fair, rational, lawful and protective of human health and the environment.


    Alliance commissions attorney to investigate actions of State officials in 35th Avenue contamination controversy
Aug. 15, 2018 -- The Alliance commissioned its attorney to prepare a Chronology of State Official Involvement in Balch & Bingham and
Drummond Effort to Prevent EPA Listing of 35th Avenue Site on the National Priorities List and Expanding 35th Avenue Site to Include
Tarrant/Inglenook. The 67-page chronology includes links to documentary and video exhibits. The Chronology and exhibits can be viewed
and downloaded by clicking the image to the right.
    Environmental Agency Leaders Indicted for Criminal Violations in Alabama
Nov. 13, 2018 - A Jefferson County grand jury indicted W. Scott Phillips, former member of the Alabama Environmental Mangaement
Commission, on charges of violating the State Ethics Law, and Onis "Trey" Glenn, the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency - Region 4, on charges of complicity. Click on image to right. Prosecutors relied in part on the Chronology of State
Official Involvement in Balch & Bingham and Drummond Effort to Prevent EPA Listing of 35th Avenue Site on the National Priorities List
and Expanding 35th Avenue Site to Include Tarrant/Inglenook and exhibits compiled by the Alliance's attorney.
ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE ALLIANCE
"Justice for All"