‘They have to be held accountable’: City of Birmingham joins legal fight against Bluestone Coke

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This is a Your Voice Your Station Special Report.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced Wednesday city attorneys will move forward with a plan to help the Jefferson County Department of Health hold Bluestone Coke accountable for violating air regulations.

“The North Birmingham community has had years of problems related to environmental health and environmental justice and I think anytime an organization’s in place and they’re not doing their part they have to be held accountable,” Woodfin explained.

A CBS 42 investigation from May found the coke manufacturer was operating while in violation of local and federal air regulations. Then in September, the JCDH denied Bluestone a permit, citing a Notice of Violation they first issued in July 2020. According to court documents, however, a hearing officer allowed the company to continue its operations.

Neighbors in North Birmingham have complained to both CBS 42 and the City of Birmingham about the odors coming from Bluestone Coke’s air emissions. They also believe the chemicals could be harming their health.

Woodfin also discussed the next steps in resolving the violations: “I have instructed our city attorneys to assist and do whatever they can and what’s necessary to make sure the citizens of north Birmingham, Collegeville, Fairmont area are also protected. And so with that the mayor’s office will continue to assess this issue. And we’ll get word from our attorneys on next steps.”

The mayor did not comment further or take any questions.

Stay with CBS 42 for the latest on this developing story.

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