BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — For the last five weeks, a fire has been burning at a landfill in St. Clair County, making life for those in Irondale, Moody and Trussville a challenge.
What is most troubling for neighbors in the area is that they have been given no indication as to when the fire will be put out. As concerning as the long life of this fire is what impact it might be having on the health of this community.
Karen Gundy lives about a mile from the blaze and is growing more worried by the day.
”This is not just a nuisance, this is a health emergency for many people. and if it continues to go on like it is it’s going to be a health emergency for most people,” Gundy said.
Gundy’s concerns are shared by Theresa Palmer, her neighbor.
“We don’t know there could be something toxic, carcinogenic and the sad part is those things don’t show up for years,” Palmer said. “You may be breathing it in and two to three years down the road you run into a problem.”
Stan Batemon is the chairman of the St. Clair County Commission and has been overwhelmed with calls and concerns from the community about the fire. The challenge for Batemon is trying to get his hands around the issue.
”We are trying to partner with ADEM to come up with the plan and the funds that will fix the problem with the fire,” Batemon said.
Michael Hansen, executive director of the Greater Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution, is shocked at the way he has seen officials dragging their feet on putting the fire out.
“What I’ve seen is a complete lack of urgency from all of the government agencies,” Hansen said. “They need to be getting together to fix the situation. put out the fire and make sure the people are taken care of.”
The St. Clair County Commission will hold an emergency meeting at 9 a.m. at the Pell City Courthouse.