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 support 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 #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 office 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
Mar. 11, 2020 -- Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law Act No. 2020-30 which authorizes the Alabama Department of
Environmental Management to approve the use of materials other than earth as cover at landfills.
Dec. 3, 2019 -- The Alabama Supreme Court granted ADEM permission to appeal the decision of the Court of Civil
Appeals.
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. Click on the
image to the right to read the Court OPINION.
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
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 ethics 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 and Gasp allege Alabama officials violated Open Records Act
LeFleur Complaint          Brown Complaint           Marshall Complaint          Chronology of State Official Involvement
May 18, 2020 -- The Environmental Defense Alliance and GASP filed suit today against Lance R. LeFleur, Director of the Alabama
Department of Environmental Management, Houston Lanier Brown, II, Member of the Alabama Environmental Management
Commission, and Steven Troy Marshall, Attorney General of the State of Alabama, for failing to disclose records requested by the
Alliance and GASP in their November 1, 2019 requests for public records to each State official. Records sought by the Alliance and
GASP concern various communications that these State officials had with Drummond Company, Inc. officials and agents (as well as
others) who sought to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from holding Drummond liable for the costs of cleaning up soil
contamination in North Birmingham.
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. 
   Alliance petitions Alabama Environmental Commission to revise witness fee rule
Aug 14, 2020 -- The Alabama Environmental Management Commission heard arguments from
Alliance attorney David A. Ludder and ADEM General Counsel Shawn Sibley on the Petition to
amend Ala. (ADEM) Admin. Code r. 335-2-1-.12. The consensus of the Commission members
appeared to be that the ADEM rule is contrary to the law and should be amended. However,
because the Commission had concerns about the language suggested by the Alliance in its
Petition, it elected to deny the Petition and allow ADEM an opportunity to develop alternative rule
language. Click on the image to the right to view a video of the Commission's discussion.
Jul 2, 2020 -- The Environmental Defense Alliance filed a "Petition to Amend Ala. (ADEM) Admin. Code r.
335-2-1-.12" with the Alabama Environmental Management Commission today seeking to revise an Alabama
Department of Environmental Management rule that requires persons seeking to subpoena witnesses to appear at
hearings on contested ADEM administrative actions pay mileage and per diem fees to those witnesses. The
Petition alleges that Alabam law requires ADEM to pay these fees and that r. 335-2-1-.12 is invalid. Click on the
Petition thumbnail image to the right to read the Petition.
   Alliance petitions Alabama Environmental Commission to adopt records transparency rules
March 19, 2022 -- The Environmental Defense Alliance filed a petition with the Alabama Environmental
Management Commission requesring the adoption of rules requiring that commissioners' written
communications with other commissioners, ADEM officials, regulated parties, and the public be preserved and
made public in accordance with the requirements of Alabama statutes. The petition became necessary when
efforts to persuade the Commission to preserve and make such records available to the public failed to change
the commissioners behavior. One commissioner admitted under oath that email communications he had with
representatives of a regulated party were not preserved and could not be made available to the public.
ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE ALLIANCE
"Justice for All"