ADEM announces new group to study response to Moody Fire, recommends improvements
Montgomery, Alabama (WIATMore) — The Alabama Department of Environmental Management announced Friday the formation of a group to assess how it could have improved its response to the Moody landfill fire.
ADEM Director Lance Lefleur said the fires in St. Clair County have revealed many shortcomings in the response by local and state agencies. He said the new group would study what went wrong and suggest solutions.
A state legislator who is part of the group told his voters that this would not happen again.
“How can we speed up this process?” said Sen. Lance Bell (Republican Persity). “Because we can’t let the population suffer again.”
Bell will work with leaders from Congressman Danny Garrett, the state EMA, the Forest Commission, the Alabama County Commission Association, and the Alabama Federation of Cities and Municipalities.
LeFleur said the goal is to improve future emergency response.
“We will be investigating the response and the situation and will make some recommendations to various leaders in the state,” LeFleur said.
The fire broke out last November at a green waste dump near Moody. Local authorities were unable to extinguish the fire as it was burning underground.
The EPA took over in January after detecting concerns about chemical levels in smoke.
Bell said lawmakers will consider changing state law to prevent this from happening again.
“You have to look at it from a regulatory perspective in Congress,” Bell said. “How do we look at our laws? Should we do something different? Should we tweak some laws? Because it’s an unused landfill.”
LeFleur said he could not confirm when or how long the group would be held, but said the results would be reported publicly.
“It takes time to air every issue,” said LeFleur. “We don’t want to put a deadline on it.”
It’s been four months since this fire started and it’s still burning. LeFleur said the EPA is on site every day and weather permitting should put the fire out in a few weeks.
ADEM also plans to address road damage near the fire site caused by large trucks transporting fire-fighting supplies. Mr LeFleur said ADEM would request funding for its repaving project.
https://www.wkrg.com/alabama-news/adem-announces-new-group-to-study-response-to-moody-fire-recommend-improvements/ ADEM announces new group to study response to Moody Fire, recommends improvements