Black Warrior Riverkeeper

Alabama Coal: More Questions Than Answers

May 9, 2017
Allison Mollenkamp

Coal was once king here in Alabama. But federal regulations and rising prices have forced changes in Alabama’s energy economy. This impacts both the industries that need a source of energy and the coal workers who make a living supplying that need. This second part of a two part series looks at the future of energy and coal communities in Alabama. 

Alabama Coal: Past and Present

May 8, 2017
Allison Mollenkamp / APR

There were a number of audiences being targeted during the race for the Presidency. One that hits home here in Alabama were coal workers. That energy source was once Alabama’s lifeblood. However, new regulations and new energy sources are changing the story and promises from the White House may not do much to breathe new life into what looks like a struggling industry.

Water Protection Groups Release Sewage Map

Apr 17, 2017
Sewage spill
Nelson Brooke / Black Warrior Riverkeeper

Several water protection organizations have released an interactive map of the sewage spills that occurred in Alabama last year.

According to the map, over 46 million gallons of sewage were released into community streams and waterways across the state. The map was created by nine different water protection groups across the state to accompany a petition they sent to the Alabama Environmental Management Commission.

Fourth of July celebrations in Tuscaloosa and Northport were complicated yesterday as the area continues to address a massive sewage spill.

Northport officials say four pump stations were forced to close Saturday in order to perform emergency repairs on the main sewer pipeline. The pumps overflowed, leaking raw sewage into three area creeks and the Black Warrior River. The city’s initial estimate is 100,000 gallons spilled, but other estimates put the total closer to several million.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management and Black Warrior Riverkeeper are investigating after the city of Northport dumped tens of thousands of gallons of sewage into nearby waterways over the weekend.

The City of Northport issued a statement Saturday saying four pumping stations had to be shut down to make an emergency repair to the main sewage pipeline. That eventually caused overflows at all four stations, and city officials estimate around 100,000 gallons of wastewater drained into local creeks and the Black Warrior River.

The ethics case of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard is now in the hands of the jury.  APR’s MacKenzie Bates reports from the TK Davis Justice Center in Opelika…  

   Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker handed the case to the jury just before two o’clock this afternoon.  They’re trying to determine if Mike Hubbard used his positions as House Speaker and former state party chair to make money and obtain business and investment for his companies.

Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise

A new report on sanitation and drinking water has singled out Lowndes County, Alabama for its widespread lack of sewage systems for its residents.

According to the report from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, around 80 percent of Lowndes County residents don’t have access to municipal waste treatment and have to install their own septic systems. Those systems can cost up to $30,000 thanks to the type of soil in the area, and the median household income in Lowndes County is just $26,000.

"Where Does Your Water Come From?"

Sep 2, 2015
^0 inch pipelines carry water from Big Creek Lake to water treatment plants in Mobile

All year long on Alabama Public Radio, we’ve been looking at water. Specifically, the condition of Alabama’s drinking water supply and the health of our rivers. The APR news team will present a number of stories over the coming weeks on the subject. It’s a story of politics, pollution, economics, and the obvious need that water is there when you turn on the tap. To that end, I traveled from one end of Alabama to the other to answer the question—where does your water come from?

Hundreds of people gathered at APM Terminals in Mobile yesterday to celebrate the final transport of the first major A320 components from the Port of Mobile to the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility.

The large plane parts arrived yesterday afternoon amid fanfare and a parade. Airbus announced three years ago that Mobile will house the planemaker's first final assembly line on U.S. soil.

A state lawmaker wants to make sure that faith-based adoption agencies have the right to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.

Republican Sen. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa introduced the bill last week specifying groups that could refuse to participate in adoptions and foster care placements that violate their religious beliefs.

The bill would also prohibit the state of Alabama from refusing to license, or renew a contract with, the groups for refusing services to people on religious grounds.

Dusty Compton/The Tuscaloosa News

Officials in Tuscaloosa say they're working to address sewage spills that seem to be happening more frequently because of heavy rain, broken sewer lines and malfunctioning pumping stations.

   The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/1452aRR) a Water and Sewer Department report earlier this week said 1.3 million gallons of sewage has spilled in the first part of 2013. The figure is more than 13 times higher than the total amount of sewage that spilled in the area last year.