Environmental regulators promised an aggressive cleanup after a tanker train hauling 2.9 million gallons of crude oil derailed and burned in a West Alabama swamp in early November amid a string of North American oil train crashes.
So why is dark, smelly crude oil still oozing into the water four months later?
Hundreds of residents of north Birmingham should be receiving letters from federal environmental regulators detailing the results of contamination testing on their property.
The letters are headed for residents of the Harriman Park, Collegeville and Fairmont neighborhoods, which are locate in a federal Superfund area. That gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to clean industrial pollution and penalize companies found responsible.
The Obama administration is temporarily waiving clean gas requirements in eight states affected by Hurricane Isaac. Governors requested the waiver because fuel supplies from refineries in the Gulf area were disrupted by Isaac. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says extreme circumstances could cause a gas shortage. The waiver lets gas stations sell less environmentally friendly fuel, normally reserved for winter, in addition to the regular fuel they normally sell during summer, when ozone levels are higher.