While the EPA’s decision not to place the North Birmingham Alabama 35th Avenue Alternatives Superfund site on the NPL was disappointing to many in the community, it was perhaps understandable given the strong vocal opposition with the state. 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. Being listed provides more opportunities for citizen participation, grants and hard deadlines for action.
Jimmy Smith has lived in Collegeville all of his life. At 85 years old he’s seen the community during it highs and lows. He’s lived side by side with contamination from what was the life blood of the community: the steel industry. He suspected something wasn’t right when three members of his family, himself included, were diagnosed with various cancers. Smith said, “It just so happened out of my four daughters, two of them had cancer. My oldest daughter, the preacher of the family, the good Lord called her home as a result of the cancer.” Read more.