POLITICAL CORRUPTION IS A NATIONWIDE ISSUE AFFECTING ALL OF US. ALABAMA RANKS #5 AS THE MOST CORRUPT STATE. *DOJ 2007 stats
Something is very wrong in the Land of Cotton


PERTINENT ENVIRONMENTAL AND CORRUPTION ISSUES IN OTHER STATES ARE ALSO DISCUSSED


NO OTHER COMMUNITY, RICH OR POOR, URBAN OR SUBURBAN,BLACK, BROWN,RED, YELLOW OR WHITE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BECOME AN "ENVIRONMENTAL SACRIFICE ZONE."

Dr. Robert Bullard
Environmental Justice Movement Founder

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CBS 42 "Deadly Deception" Series Continues


CBS 42 continues to be the leader in following and reporting on the North Birmingham Walter Energy toxic contamination story

Monthly meetings are being held with the affected residents in conjunction with the EPA, Jefferson County Dept. of Health (JCDH) and Walter Energy in an attempt to better inform the community. Indicators are that attempt is failing miserably on all levels--mistrust is now running higher than ever and frustration seems to be increasing among the residents with each successive meeting.

It's a notable and ominous statistic that 7-8 additional funerals have occurred since the last monthly meeting. 

Walter Energy continues to maintain its innocence and claim they have no part in the contamination, despite being ordered by the EPA to remediate the contaminated areas in these neighborhoods. Walter's version of it is that they are cleaning up out of the goodness of their big business hearts.

What's happening to this area of North Birmingham is an environmental crime of serious proportions that appears to have no good end in sight. Adding fuel to the fire is a spokesman with the JCDH who speaks to these frightened and worried residents in technical and departmental jargon that they cannot understand. Our opinion is that this is not a miscommunication as much as it is a by design attempt to buffalo these people with technical verbal confusion.
Part of the problem is that some of the answers are not simple, as when the Jefferson County Department of Health tried to explain the process by which it measures contamination. The residents say the explanations are too complex.
“As far as I’m concerned, you have just wasted 30 minutes of my time. I have no earthly idea what you're talking about," says Jimmie Smith, who lives in Collegeville.
The confusion has led to mistrust.
Some feel the company is just putting them off, while contamination continues and they fear the resulting disease is killing them.
“It's where, well, we'll tell these black people we'll do it next month and the next month and by then they'll probably be dead," says a resident of North Birmingham.
That kind of talking over your audience sleight of tongue should end with this last meeting and not be repeated again. It's disingenuous and insulting at best and a blatant attempt to distract and deflect at worst. These are real human beings with real lives who are dying in alarming numbers from elevated cancer incidents in this area. They deserve a lot more respect than they are getting from the authority and corporate figures involved in this preventable tragedy.

CBS 42, Sherri Jackson and Ken Lass should be roundly applauded for staying on this story.



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9 comments:

  1. That's a lot of funerals in a 30 day time span! Were the causes of death cancer related?

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  2. The JeffCo HD should be ashamed of themselves to resort to such a dirty trick. I bet there were a few meetings before deciding which rep would go and confuse the folks. You bet your bippy that was no fluke.

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  3. Where is Mayor Bell's compassion for his own people??? Maybe it's been replaced with his penchant for big campaign donors!
    It's so sad that in the 21st century race is still a factor when it comes to toxic industries. If anybody came name one that is close to a wealthy white community I'll take it back.
    Kudos to CBS for continuing to inform us of this story!

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  4. Didn't the Bham News run an article not long ago praising Walter Energy for a million dollar donation to the relief efforts after the April tornadoes?
    That was a good thing for Walter Energy to do granted, although I am suspicious of their motives, but I think I would have rather seen that money go to these north Bham residents myself.

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  5. That plant has been in operation for 44 years. It's beyond me how they can blame the contamination on anyone but us!

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  6. Being black in Alabama is rapidly becoming endangered species status.

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  7. Hoover offered Walter a bundle in tax incentives to move their headquarters to the Riverchase area when the deal was falling apart in early 2011.
    Money, always follow the money.
    There's a big hands off Walter even if it costs the lives of minority residents. It's chalked up to the cost of doing business.

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  8. As far as I am concerned it's homicide.

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  9. NoQuarryInVincentJune 30, 2011 at 6:35 AM

    Finding cures for cancer is important, but shouldn't we be more focused on ways to prevent cancer? The evidence is mounting that industrial pollution is linked to a number of illnesses, including diabetes and cancer.

    A recent issue of the Birmingham News had three adults from their early 30's to early 50's all dying from either juvenile diabetes or cancer. I consider that statistic to be alarming.

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