Dixon and Mckee Ally with Vista View Residents - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

December 28, 2000

Dixon and Mckee Ally with Vista View Residents

The folks who want something done about the TCE contamination around their homes in north Montgomery, have two new allies.

State Senator Larry Dixon and Representative Bob Mckee say a fence building plan, by the Department of Transportation isn't enough. They say it's time for Governor Siegelman to get involved and to get the contamination, cleaned up.

The DOT plan calls for an eight foot fence to be put in place. But, ADEM says that plan isn't likely to do well with federal officials who might want to make Vista View a "superfund" site. Privately, they oppose it, just like the people who live there, and now, their legislators agree. "It sounds to me that thing ought to be covered over." Representative Bob Mckee says if ADEM and the DOT can't agree, the governor should step in. "It's his DOT. If there's a dispute, he's the one who, so to speak, carries the big stick."

State Senator Larry Dixon says ADEM's job is the environment, so it should take precedent. "If I were the governor, I would find out what ADEM wants and have it done."

In fact, ADEM officials met privately with the governor's staff last week in an effort to push the plan to cover the ditch in question but state officials say the governor has decided to stay out of the fight for now. If true, that's a stance that won't fly with Dixon and Mckee, and they may make it a point in the legislature. Mckee says, "We've got to do what is best for the people out there." Dixon adds, "I would try to pass a resolution asking the governor to follow ADEM's advice."

ADEM's public relations staff says the plan to build the fence isn't set in stone - yet. They say some type of compromise to satisfy the EPA and the homeowners may still happen. DOT Deputy Director Paul Bowlin, says the transportation department is trying to follow ADEM's lead, and they'll keep the governor informed of any plans it comes up with to handle the contamination.

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