See online map of AL water violations & "Unchecked Pollution" - New York Times

The New York Times is running a series of articles on the lax and worsening enforcement of the Clean Water Act nationwide - read the latest, "Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering" at http://www.nytimes.com
  
The Times has compiled EPA and state data on sites that discharge pollutants into our waterways and has created an interactive online map showing sites reported to be in violation - you can search your own community. Not all the locations are correct (who knew Bibb County was in Leeds ...) so information on this map would need to be confirmed, but it provides a good place to start. The AL map is at http://projects.nytimes.com
  
Or you can access it from the article above - button on the left to search any community in the U.S.
   
CRS and ally groups in the Alabama Stormwater Partnership are especially focusing on full implementation of Clean Water Act requirements to clean up urban storm runoff.  After years of ADEM's poor enforcement, EPA is taking direct action in AL, expecting construction site operators to control their runoff and cities and counties to fully implement programs to reduce stormwater pollution in their communities. 
  
CRS aims to help cities and counties in our watershed develop the capacity they need to cost-effectively protect our waters as required by law - and especially to help the communities that want to stick with SWMA to rebuild a financially stable organization.  With the Jefferson County withdrawal, SWMA is losing highly skilled staff but gaining a strong partner, the Jefferson County Department of Health. Yet it appears that JCDH won't be providing all of the crucial services that EPA now expects - and your city/county needs to figure out how to fill that gap. SWMA will be needed more than ever.
  
Yours for clean waters,
 Beth
  
Beth K. Stewart
Executive Director
Cahaba River Society

 

Annual Alabama Sierra Club Retreat

Annual Retreat November 6, 7, 8.
Shocco Springs • Bagley Conference Center • Talladega, Alabama

EMBRACE THE CHALLENGE: EXPLORE, ENJOY, PROTECT OUR PLANET
Shocco Springs Directions

Our speaker list includes:
• Dr. Joyce Lanning from the Climate Project
• Joe Cuhaj, author of A Guide to Alabama’s Greatest Hiking Adventures
• Jim Lacefield, paleobiologist and author of Lost Worlds in Alabama Rocks: A Guide
• Dave Lindon, the  City of Hoover’s Biofuel program
• Jay Hudson, teacher and guide for the Pinhoti trail challenge
• David Pope, director of Southern Environmental Law Center
• Artur Davis, U.S. Representative and Candidate for Alabama Governor
see below for the schedule and complete speaker bios>>>

Tentative recreational activities:
• High/Low ROPES Challenge course
• Cheaha Mountain Hike
• Desoto Caverns tour
• Shocco Springs hiking trail
• Campfire
• Yoga with John

The price will be $120.00 for 2 nights lodging, 5 meals, snacks, speakers and recreation. There is an additional fee of $10 for the Challenge Course or if they choose to go to Desoto Caverns, there is an admission fee of $18 payable at entry.  

COSTS:
$120.00   2 nights lodging, 5 meals, snacks, speakers and recreation
$130.00 add Challenge Course

CHECKS PAYABLE TO:
Cahaba Sierra Club

MAIL REGISTRATION TO:
Jeanine Dorroh
5124 Weatherford Drive
Birmingham, AL 35242

download the registration form here.

Nov 6th 4:30 check-in & Welcome
5:30 Dinner
7:30 Movie
       
DATE TIME TOPIC SPEAKER
Nov 7th 7:00 YOGA John Latham
7:30 Breakfast
8:15 Welcome - Embrace the Challenge!
PROTECT 8:45 Climate Project Dr. Joyce Lanning
10:00 Vision for Greening Alabama Artur Davis (Representative and gubernatorial candidate)
PROTECT 11:00 Environmental Justice Southern Environmental Law Center
12:00 Lunch
ENJOY 1:00-4:30 Challenge Course or Desoto Caverns (fees) alternate: Shocco trail or Cheaha Mountain
5:30 Dinner
EXPLORE 6:30 Lost Worlds in Alabama Rocks Jim Lacefield
ENJOY 8:00 Campfire
       
DATE TIME TOPIC SPEAKER
Nov 8th 7:00 YOGA John Latham
7:30 Breakfast
8:15 Tribute to Peggy
EXPLORE 9:00 Alabama's Greatest Hiking Adventures Joe Cujah
PROTECT 10:00 Biofuels Hoover representative
ENJOY 11:00 Pinhoti Challenge Jay Hudson
PROTECT 11:30 Muddy Water Michael Mullen

Speaker Bios

Joyce A. Lanning, Ph.D., is a volunteer environmental educator and supporter. Since January 2007, as a member of The Climate Project, she has been presenting science-based programs on climate change to schools, churches, civic organizations, and business and community groups. She was formerly on the faculty of the UAB School of Public Health, teaching in the masters program in Health Care Organization and Policy.

In September, 2007 she was a representative of the League of Women Voters at an international United Nations meeting, “Climate Change: How It Impacts Us All”. She is currently on the board of directors of the Birmingham and Alabama League of Women Voters, serving as Natural Resources Chair, and is one of eleven members of the Climate Change Task Force of the United States League.
Joyce is volunteer District Manager for The Climate Project for five southeastern states and serves on the core planning team for the Interfaith Environmental Initiative of Alabama, hosts of the October 13-14 Energy Forum 2009: Challenges and Possibilities for Alabama at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

She is vitally interested in the kind of legacy we are leaving for the young of all species who follow us, including her own two grandchildren. Joyce is a native of Birmingham, and is married to attorney Jerry Lanning, Vice President and General Legal Counsel for the Freshwater Land Trust.

Jim Lacefield: "Searching for Alabama's Lost Himalayas: How They Got Here, and Where They Are Today." Dr. Jim Lacefield lives in rural Colbert County near Tuscumbia with his wife Faye. He is a recently retired adjunct professor of Biology and Earth Science from the University of North Alabama. He now spends most of his time writing articles for the popular press on geology, geologic history and other aspects of Alabama's natural environment, as well as in giving teacher workshops and natural history talks to environmental groups. Jim holds a doctorate in science education from the University of Alabama, with specializations in Biology and Geology. He has a keen interest in fossils, ancient life and geologic history and how rock layers can provide information on the Earth's past.

Dr. Lacefield's book on Alabama's geologic history, entitled Lost Worlds in Alabama Rocks: A Guide to the State's Ancient Life and Landscapes was published in 2000 by the Alabama Geological Society. The book is in its fourth printing, and is being used in a number of geology and earth science classes from the middle school through the college levels. The book has been adopted as a text or supplementary text by eight universities and he is nearing completion on a much larger second edition of the book, due out later this year.

Joe Cuhaj: “Enjoying and Exploring Alabama’s great outdoors”
Joe Cuhaj has been a radio broadcaster, beginning his career in New Jersey, then moved to Mobile in 1981. After his after which he began work as a software programmer.

Joe has published two outdoors books: “Hike Alabama” and “Paddling Alabama” (co-authored with Curt Burdick) for Globe-Pequot/Falcon Books. These books are travel guides to the state centered on the best hiking, canoeing, and kayaking adventures the state has to offer and is the publisher of the new hiking magazine, “Southern Hiker”.  

David Lindon, City of Hoover fleet manager, “Alternative Fuels” – Progress in Alabama
The Fleet Management Department is home to the city’s bio-diesel processing plant which takes in used cooking oil and now wood waste and turns it into bio-diesel fuel that is used in some of the Hoover city vehicles and equipment.  We currently collect used cooking oil from citizens and from several restaurants in the area.  We are very proud to be a part of this recycling program and to have the backing of our citizens.  In the coming months we will be moving into a new phase of this program that will mean recycling and using alternative fuel on a much larger scale as we continue to make a difference in our environment and save taxpayer dollars on fuel use here at the city.  http://www.hooveral.org/Default.asp?ID=114

 

 

Artur Davis – Congressman and 2010 Gubernatorial Candidate
“Vision for Greening Alabama”
U.S. Representative Artur Davis was reelected in 2008 to serve his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District, a twelve county area that spans from Birmingham and Tuscaloosa to the Black Belt.

In a relatively short period of time, Davis has made his mark as an effective legislator who was won national attention for his leadership on a range of issues. He serves as a member of the prestigious Ways and Means Committee, which oversees economic policy. Davis is only the tenth Alabamian in 190 years to serve on this committee, which is the only congressional committee actually described in the Constitution.

Davis has already won several notable legislative victories that have benefitted both the urban and rural portions of his congressional district. When Republicans controlled Congress, his skill at forging bipartisan coalitions helped him pass legislation to save the HOPE VI program for revitalizing public housing communities. During the Democratic majority, Davis was the leading force behind reopening the Pigford black farmers lawsuit. He has also been a persuasive voice for creative ideas that would expand health care and improve educational performance.

Congressman Davis, a Montgomery native, graduated with honors from both Harvard University and Harvard Law School and has had a nearly 15 year career in public service. As a law student, he worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center and U.S. Senator Howell Heflin. From 1994 – 1998, he compiled a near 100% trial conviction record as a federal prosecutor in Montgomery. From 1998-2002, Congressman Davis worked as a litigator in private practice.

Davis has won a variety of honors, including being selected by Esquire Magazine as one of the 10 best Congressmen in America. He was unopposed in 2008 and in 2006, Congressman Davis received the largest total popular vote cast in any Congressional primary in the country. Davis’ new, pragmatic style of politics has made him one of the most popular political figures in Alabama.

Representative Davis will speak to us on his “Vision for Greening Alabama”.
For more information on Representative Davis’ goals for the state.

David Pope, Director of the Alabama/Georgia offices of the Southern Environmental Law Center: The Premiere Environmental Justice Center for the Southeast

PLEASE SUBMIT QUESTIONS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE ADDRESSED BY OUR SPEAKERS. DR. JOYCE LANNING AND REPRESENTATIVE ARTUR DAVIS ARE PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN RECEIVING QUESTIONS SO THAT THEY WILL BE BEST ABLE TO COVER THE MATERIALS THAT WOULD BE MOST RELEVANT TO OUR AUDIENCE. PLEASE SUBMIT QUESTIONS TO lois.gail@gmail.com