Two reports released today further add to the mountain of evidence that air quality is poor in Alabama’s largest city.
“The question is what, and when, is the Alabama Department of Environmental Management going to do about excessive air toxic pollution?” according to the press release from the Conservation Alabama Foundation.
“Our report in December found that of 15 air toxics we studied, 13 of which are linked to cancer, Alabama’s children and adults are exposed to these chemicals far beyond the maximum safe limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency,” said Adam Snyder, executive director of the Conservation Alabama Foundation. “The reports released today re-emphasize the need for ADEM to address this problem and find a solution that will protect human health.”
Using modeling data, the Justice in the Air report ranks the Birmingham-Hoover MSA first for disproportionate impacts of air pollution on both minorities and low-income citizens. Also, the “State of the Air” report published by the American Lung Association ranks the Birmingham-Hoover MSA fifth in the country for both short-term and year-round particle air pollution, and 20th in the nation for ozone pollution.
These are the fourth and fifth reports released over the last few months regarding air quality. USA Today released a report in December about air toxics in our schools, followed by the Foundation’s report a week later. A few weeks ago, the Jefferson County Health Department released their air study. All the reports show citizens in Birmingham are exposed to an excessive amount of air toxics.
“ADEM needs to change its permitting practices so that air pollution permits protect human health,” said David Ludder, author of the Foundation’s December report. “Ultimately, ADEM needs to establish more monitoring stations and collect more data to better define the geographical extent of the health risk and the magnitude of the health risk allowed by ADEM’s current regulations,”
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© 2009, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.