Doug Jones joins Randall Woodfin’s fight to add Birmingham site to EPA priority list

Doug Jones opinion

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week insisting that they add the North Birmingham 35th Avenue Superfund Site to their National Priorities list.

Now, U.S. Senator Doug Jones has joined Woodfin in the fight, sending his own letter to the EPA’s new acting chief Andrew Wheeler on Monday.

“While the EPA’s decision not to place the North Birmingham Alabama 35th Avenue Superfund site on the NPL was disappointing to many in the community, it was perhaps understandable given the strong vocal opposition with the state,” Jones wrote in his letter. “However, it is now abundantly clear, as evidenced by the July 19, 2018 convictions of a former state legislator, a business executive and attorney on a number of federal charges including conspiracy, wire fraud and bribery, that the EPA’s initial public review process was undermined by an illegal misinformation scheme to prevent the North Birmingham site from being added to the NPL.”

At a community forum last week Woodfin spoke out against the actions of the several Birmingham professionals tied to the site who were convicted of bribery, wire fraud and money laundering; and announced he was sending a letter to the EPA.

“In light of the recent revelations concerning public corruption, we believe the environmental injustices in North Birmingham must be addressed and prioritized by the Environmental Protection Agency,” the Birmingham City website reads. “A site may be included on the EPA National Priorities List if it has scored greater than a 28.5 on the Hazard Ranking System. The North Birmingham 35th Avenue Superfund Site scored a 50, almost twice the minimum requirements.”

According to The Gadsden Times, the EPA released a statment in response to Woodfin last week saying; “EPA received numerous comments on the proposed listing. At this time the Agency has not made a decision to finalize the site on the NPL. The site will remain on the proposed list until a decision has been made to go final or until the site has been cleaned up by the removal program.”

Read Jones full letter here:

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones’ letter to EPA by Erin Edgemon on Scribd