EPA: Companies accused of polluting have 14 days to respond - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

EPA: Companies accused of polluting have 14 days to respond

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Walter Coke is one of the companies potentially liable for contamination. Source: WBRC video Walter Coke is one of the companies potentially liable for contamination. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

The EPA sent out a letter Friday telling five Birmingham companies that they could be liable for area pollution and that they have 14 days to respond to those letters.

Val Page has lived in Collegeville for the majority of his life.

He knows all too well about reports of contamination stemming from U.S. Pipe that is just a few miles from his home.

"It's a bad look for the city because it happened. Because they let it happen," said Page.

The EPA said five Birmingham companies, including U.S. Pipe, may be potentially liable for the contamination.

This is the latest development in an ongoing problem. In fact, people have been complaining for years about industrial pollutants making them sick.

This all comes after the EPA took soil samples from the Collegeville, Harriman Park, and Fairmont neighborhoods.

The EPA determined problems at about 400 properties in those communities. Based on preliminary testing the EPA believes arsenic is one of the contaminants in the neighborhoods.

"The damage has been done. I'm glad they're doing something about it and acknowledging it but no kind of compensation would make up for the damage that's been already done," Page said.

EPA Representative James Pinkney said the companies will have 14 days to respond to the letters sent out by the EPA. If that time passes he says litigation could be involved and potentially a Superfund. That's where the government would clean up the sites at the cost of taxpayers.

"It's fine for the cleanup but it's not compensating or doing anything for the residents out here. The damage has been done," said Page.

The five companies the EPA believe are responsible for the contamination are U.S. Pipe, Alagasco, KMAC Services, Walter Coke and Drummond Coal.

As for where the contaminated soil would be taken when there finally is a plan in place Pinkney said there are designated areas where it would be taken.

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