HUD Offers Support to Challenged North Birmingham Community

Interagency effort to address industrial pollution concerns

Interagency Working Group discusses options to revitalize North Birmingham

HUD Southeast Administrator, Ed Jennings, Jr. and Congresswoman Terri Sewell discuss North Birmingham challenges.

Through the efforts of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the North Birmingham Interagency Working Group has engaged federal, state, local governments and community leaders to help the citizens of North Birmingham overcome the impact of years of living in the shadow of major industrial production. The agencies and the community are participating in revitalization efforts aimed at making a visible difference in North Birmingham areas impacted by environmental concerns, blight and degradation.

EPA testing has revealed soil contaminated with industrial chemicals, as well as indications that the chemicals could be draining into the watershed. The neighborhoods, which include two public housing developments, have been further impacted by their proximity to railroad tracks, which prevent emergency vehicles, including fire and ambulances from quick access.

HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr., and Birmingham Field Office Director Michael German joined U.S. EPA Region IV Administrator Heather McTeer Toney, Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Birmingham Mayor, William Bell, at the North Birmingham Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice for an awareness tour and workshop day. Other participating agencies included Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Commerce, National Parks Service, Federal Highway Administration, and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The group began the day by visiting residents, community advocates and elected officials to see first-hand the challenges the communities are facing. After the tour, the group reconvened for a round table and small group discussion to offer insights into what resources might potentially be available to help revitalize the community.


Content Archived: January 12, 2016