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St. Clair Co. Commission share positive results at landfill fire

Birmingham  WBRC logo Birmingham WBRC 1/25/2023 Bria Chatman
Source: WBRC video © Provided by Birmingham WBRC Source: WBRC video

ST. CLAIR CO., Ala. (WBRC) - The St. Clair County Commissioners met during their regular meeting Tuesday morning, and they say they are pleased with the progress the Environmental Protection Agency is making at the landfill.

Governor Ivey was in Birmingham Tuesday at a separate event. She described the landfill fire as a crisis and says she wants to do all she can to make sure people in the area have what they need. Last Wednesday she named the EPA as the operational lead and issued a limited state of emergency.

“The Moody crisis is certainly a concern to the people who live in this area,” says Gov. Ivey. “We are certainly working with the local leaders. We have decorated them a state of emergency, so they’ll have access to resources they need.”

Officials in St. Clair County say they’ve been working around the clock to get the fire under control.

“The big machines,” says Stan Batemon, St. Clair County Commission Chairman. “The excavators that are there are digging test trenches in front of the bulldozer because they have long-reach machines that reach way out there. They test to make sure the ground is solid enough for the bulldozer to drive over it. So, it seems to be working extremely well.”

Batemon says funding for extinguishing the fire is coming directly from the EPA and the total cost could be in the millions.

“Between $500,000 and $2 million. But it depends on what they run into,” says Batemon. “For instance, we still don’t know what has burned in the last month and a half, so they are testing things. So, if they ran into something that would have to have more mitigation such as a hazardous material, they could be there a lot longer.”

The EPA’s current timeline for the fire to be extinguished is three to four weeks.

“So, we’re waiting to see if this works which it’s worked in many places before and we hope it works here,” says Batemon. “So hopefully will work and we won’t have the next question even come up.”

The EPA says they are taking air samples each day and they are posting air monitor results here.

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