Birmingham leaders head to South Carolina for cleanup lesson - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Birmingham leaders head to South Carolina for cleanup lesson

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

About 40 people from Birmingham are on their way to Spartanburg, South Carolina hoping to learn more about how that city handled a chemical contamination like the one in Birmingham's Collegeville neighborhood.

Several years ago, Spartanburg, South Carolina had a situation like college. The EPA determined industrial pollutants contaminated soil there and later found Spartanburg to have had a successful cleanup. They want Birmingham to implement the same procedures they used.

On Thursday morning, about 40 people loaded up a Greyhound bus headed to Spartanburg. The group is made up of city leaders and people who live in north Birmingham. Councilors William Parker and Shelia Tyson will meet the group there for two days of meetings.

Last year, the EPA determined there are 400 properties in the Collegeville neighborhood that need to be cleaned. The EPA has highlighted five companies responsible for the pollution and they will hire crews to remove the contaminated soil and replace it.

Gregory Jones, assistant to Mayor William Bell, says this trip will be vital to Birmingham beginning the cleanup process.

"(The trip is) very important because we got the coalition formed, but we don't know what's really going on. Until you see it and once we see it, we can put the action plan in place and probably enhance on some things, so it's vitally important," said Jones.

The EPA says cleanup should begin in February.

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