Hearing to Protect Birmingham’s Drinking Water

Proposed coal mine along the Black Warrior River, AL | © Nelson Brooke

Proposed coal mine along the Black Warrior River, AL | © Nelson Brooke

In April, American Rivers named the Black Warrior River one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers® due to the threat of coal mining. A hearing on a proposal to declare a Black Warrior tributary as unsuitable for mining is coming up in July, and the Black Warrior Riverkeeper needs your help!

Hearing on: Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s Lands Unsuitable for Coal Mining Petition
Tuesday, July 9th
1:00-3:30 pm
Activity Room, Community Health Systems Building, 204 19th Street East #100, Jasper, Alabama 35501 (map)

At stake is protecting a major water source for the greater Birmingham area, which supplies drinking water to around 200,000 Birmingham Water Works Board customers every day. The petition seeks to designate 58,544 acres of land adjacent to the Mulberry Fork of the Black Warrior River in Walker County just northwest of Birmingham, where drinking water is pumped out of the river, as off limits to coal mining.

Please help us turn out a large volume of people for this important hearing by spreading the word and recruiting others to come! The Alabama Surface Mining Commission (ASMC) set the public hearing time during work hours, when most Alabamians will be at work and unable to attend. While the Riverkeeper has requested a more convenient hearing time, the Commission will not budge. Stand up for clean water and make your voice heard!

Those who wish to speak must register with the ASMC by Friday, July 5 before 4:30 pm CST. Register to speak by calling the “lands unsuitable petition coordinator” at (205) 221-4130 between 8am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

The ASMC is holding this hearing in response to Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s Petition to Designate Lands Unsuitable for Coal Mining, which was filed using citizen rights afforded by the Surface Mining Control & Reclamation Act. To see more information about the hearing and the petition, visit Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s website.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, but want to help the Black Warrior River, please sign our letter asking the University of Alabama to refuse coal mining on their lands!