Chief of environmental enforcement to meet in Ensley to discuss Black Warrior River and environmental justice issues


Chief of environmental enforcement to meet in Ensley to discuss Black Warrior River and environmental justice issues


Posted 18 July 2011, by Kent Faulk, The Birmingham News (Alabama Live LLC),

The chief environmental enforcement official from the U.S. Department of Justice will visit Birmingham on Wednesday to listen to concerns residents and groups have about the Black Warrior River basin and environmental justice issues.

Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno will join U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, EPA Regional Administrator Gwen Keyes Fleming, and Birmingham Division FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick Maley in meetings with other federal enforcement agencies, residents, environmental and community groups.

Moreno, Vance, Fleming and Maley will participate in a public listening session in Ensley to discuss environmental challenges, including issues affecting the Black Warrior River basin. State and local officials, including the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, have been invited to attend the listening session, according to a statement issued today by the U.S. Attorneys Office in Birmingham.

The meeting is set for 10 a.m. at the East Ensley Branch of the Birmingham Public Library, 900 14th St., Ensley.

Moreno leads the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Environmental justice is a major priority of the Department of Justice and the EPA, to provide all Americans – regardless of their race, ethnicity or income status – full protection under the nation’s environmental laws and protection from pollution, hazardous waste, and toxic substances, according to the statement.

The listening session will be held in Ensley, a western Birmingham neighborhood along Village Creek, a 44-mile waterway that runs from its headwaters in eastern Birmingham to the Locust Fork of the Black Warrior River, according to the statement. Flooding and pollution for decades have plagued the creek and many inner-city residents who live near it.

“The recent listing of the Black Warrior as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers highlights the importance of and the need for federal enforcement actions within this watershed, which provides drinking water for much of northern Alabama,” Vance said. “We hope to hear the candid concerns of the community and develop a better understanding of environmental justice concerns within the watershed.”

In the statement Moreno said she looks forward to meeting with law enforcement and those in the community to discuss the impact of pollution in Alabama and the critical importance of environmental protection.

“By vigorously enforcing the nation’s environmental laws, we are protecting the air, water, land, and the wildlife that Alabamians enjoy, including in the Black Warrior watershed. More broadly, we are seeking to make environmental justice a reality by reaching out to communities and taking their concerns into account as we enforce the law.”

The EPA’s Fleming said “EPA has a long and effective history of working in the Black Warrior Watershed to protect public health and the environment. We look forward to hearing directly from Alabamians on key environmental issues that impact the places where they live, work, play and learn, to ensure that all communities have a seat at the table.”


3 responses to this post.

  1. […] this article: Chief of environmental enforcement to meet in Ensley to discuss … Tags: basin, black, challenges, issues, listening, moreno, public, river, state, […]


  2. Posted by shari robbins on July 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    What was the outcome of the meeting?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: