Citizens organize REEF rally
by Emily Adams
SYLACAUGA — Citizens have organized a rally to voice their concerns about the noxious fumes from REEF Environmental that have plagued the community for years.

The event is set for Thursday at 5 p.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, located at the corner of Seminole and 10th Street.

The rally is in response to recent efforts at the facility by ADEM and EPA to control two emergency situations and plan for cleanup of the 13 million gallons of wastewater that remain at the former waste treatment plant.

In an email, event organizer Clara Curtis said the odor has become worse since ADEM and EPA performed emergency response about two weeks ago, when they removed tarps covering two basins of wastewater at the Twin Street site and added lime to reduce odor and balance pH.

“Unfortunately, this did not stabilize the fumes and they became heavier,” Curtis said, “causing many to scream they could not breathe, mouth and eyes to burn.”

Curtis said multiple Birmingham television news outlets will be at the rally, and citizens are asked to “air their complaints” or simply attend to show a sign of solidarity.

“You can make a difference is we stick together,” she said. “This is not just a Mill Village problem, but the entire population has felt the effects.”

—Emily Adams

© 2012