By Erica Thomas, managing editor
TRUSSVILLE — The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) has issued a permit to the city of Birmingham to expand the Eastern Area Landfill.
The permit modification was made on Monday, May 13, 2019, after ADEM reviewing comments from the public for weeks. Those comments included concerns about the Bangor Aquifer, which feeds Trussville’s water source, sinkhole concerns and stormwater management. The permit modification contains requirements including routine inspections. ADEM said it would ensure compliance by continually evaluating the landfill.
According to the Cahaba River Society (CRS), the extension could put Trussville drinking water at risk and could cause flooding downtown. The expansion site is adjacent to Mary Taylor Road near Magnolia Elementary School and Trussville neighborhoods. CRS expressed concerns in a letter to ADEM in January.
Trussville Gas and Water supplies water for approximately 37,000 people in unincorporated parts of Jefferson and St. Clair counties, and has customers located in the city limits of Trussville, Argo, Irondale, Birmingham and Springville. TGW drinking water comes from wells in the Bangor and Ft. Payne Tuscumbia aquifers. It is the Bangor aquifer that is of concern, as some maps show the landfill adjacent to or overlapping the aquifer and Bangor Limestone Formation, which feeds the aquifer.
Magnolia Place neighborhood is located near a Birmingham landfill that is not popular among many residents.
Also among concerns are wetlands that could be impacted by water runoff from the landfill.
Additionally, there are concerns over the proposed geotextile liner for the landfill, which is intended to prevent the seepage of runoff into the ground. If the geotextile liner fails, runoff from the landfill could potentially reach the aquifer. If the liner works, rainwater would be blocked from recharging the aquifer and continuously refilling it with water.
Those concerns are shared by the mayor and city council of Trussville. Mayor Buddy Choat said he has reached out to Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin to voice concerns.
Click below for the detailed response from ADEM.
The city of Birmingham has not responded to inquiries by The Trussville Tribune regarding the landfill expansion.